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Pro-Russian movement’s headquarters in occupied Ukrainian city hit by blast

Melitopol (Strunin V.S./WikiCommons)
September 11, 2022

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

An explosion rocked the headquarters of a pro-Russia movement in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Melitopol amid reports of attacks against officials appointed by Moscow in the southeast of the country.

A member of the Russian-imposed administration of the Zaporizhzhya region, Vladimir Rogov, said on September 7 that the headquarters of the We Are Together With Russia movement was hit by an explosion the previous day.

“Information about damage and casualties is being collected,” Rogov said.

The movement, which promotes the idea that the Russian-controlled Ukrainian territories should join Russia, was created after the Kremlin ordered troops into the city at the start of its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Russia’s ruling United Russia party and the All-Russia Popular Front coordinate the activities of the movement.

Ukrainian media reports say the We Are Together With Russia movement is actively involved in the preparation of so-called referendums on the occupied Ukrainian territories becoming part of Russia.

Earlier on August 6, Russian-imposed authorities in the city of Berdyansk said the city’s commandant, Artem Bardin, lost his legs after his car exploded near the administration’s building.

Several officials appointed by Moscow to areas of Ukraine during the Kremlin’s invasion of the country have died in recent weeks after being attacked.

Last week, Russian-appointed officials in Ukraine’s Kherson region, parts of which have been under Russian military forces’ control since March, said that former Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksiy Kovalyov, who joined the Russian-imposed government was found dead. Reports said at the time that Kovalyov’s partner was stabbed and she later died in hospital.

Days before that, the Moscow-appointed mayor of the town of Mykhaylivka in Zaporizhzhya, Ivan Sushko, was killed by a car bomb.

Several other similar incidents have also been recorded in recent weeks.