Explosion injures pro-Russian separatist leader in eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatist leader Igor Plotnitsky has been injured in an explosion in eastern Ukraine, according to media reports from Saturday.

A device was detonated next to Plotnitsky's car in the city of Luhansk on Saturday, the reports said.

Plotnitsky, who is the head of the unrecognized Luhansk People's Republic and who is on the European Union's sanctions blacklist, was taken to hospital with shrapnel wounds. The chauffeur was also injured in the attack.

A spokesman for the separatists said the attack was a targeted assassination attempt on the 52-year-old, pointing the finger at the pro-Western government in Kiev, but without giving further details or offering proof.

Despite what he termed the "provocation," the spokesman said the Luhansk People's Republic would not end its agreed ceasefire with government forces.

Observers say the ceasefire was already extremely fragile.

Moscow sent Plotnitsky get-well wishes.

Only the Ukrainian government had a reason to destabilize the situation in Luhansk, Russian foreign affairs specialist Frants Klintsevich told Interfax news agency.

The Russian lawmaker ruled out an internal power struggle as being behind the incident, saying the situation in Luhansk is stable.

Last update: Sat, 06/08/2016 - 15:21
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