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Russian-Backed Official Survives Assassination Attempt in Occupied Ukraine, Colleague Says

Anton Yakimenko.

A Russian-installed official in Ukraine’s occupied Zaporizhzhia region has survived an assassination attempt at his workplace, his colleague said Tuesday.

Anton Yakimenko sits on Zaporizhzhia’s Moscow-backed Yakimivka district council and is a member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party. He also heads a local affiliate of the Russian state-run grain operator GUP GZO Akimovskoye.

According to local pro-Russian politician Vladimir Rogov, an explosive device placed at the gate of the grain operator’s garage detonated when Yakimenko opened it.

“Anton was lucky, the main direction of the explosion went past him. He was just grazed,” Rogov wrote on the Telegram messaging app, adding that Yakimenko’s life was “not in danger.”

It is not known who placed the explosive device.

Rogov, who immediately blamed “Ukrainian terrorists” for the assassination attempt, said investigators were working at the scene of the attack and interviewing witnesses.

Several former Ukrainian officials who have defected to Russia, Moscow-installed officials in occupied Ukrainian territories and Russian pro-war figures have been targeted in assassination attempts since the invasion of Ukraine in early 2022.

Moscow has regularly blamed Kyiv for the attacks.

Russia claimed to have annexed Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions following 2022 referendums that Ukraine and the West denounced as a sham.

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