Mikhail Filiponenko, a pro-Russian lawmaker and ex-militiaman in occupied eastern Ukraine, walked over to a car outside his house on Wednesday morning … and was promptly blown to smithereens, Russian media reported.
Ukraine’s Military Intelligence immediately claimed responsibility for the assassination.
“Yeah, it was our operation,” Andriy Cherniak, representative of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Directorate, also known as GUR, told POLITICO in a phone conversation about the car bomb attack.
Military intelligence worked together with local Ukrainian partisans to prepare to assassinate Filiponenko, GUR said in a statement.
Filiponenko was born in Luhansk and studied in Kyiv. However, in 2014 he joined Russian-backed mercenaries who seized power and helped President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin to establish its rule over the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.
“He was involved in the organization of torture camps in the occupied territories of the Luhansk region, where prisoners of war and civilian hostages were subjected to inhumane torture. Filiponenko himself personally brutally tortured people,” Ukraine’s military intelligence said.
GUR revealed the exact address where Filiponenko lived in Luhansk and added that Ukraine’s spies knew where other high-profile collaborators were living in the occupied territories.
“All war criminals will be punished,” GUR said.