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Russia claims senior official killed in alleged attack on occupied Lysychansk

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 5, 2024 3:30 PM 2 min read
Illustrative photo: A photo of Luhansk Oblast taken in Lysychansk shared by the region's governor on July 3, 2022. (Serhiy Haidai/Telegram)
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A senior Russian-installed official in occupied Luhansk Oblast was killed in an alleged attack against occupied Lysychansk on Feb. 3, said Leonid Pasechnik, the head of Russian occupation authorities in Luhansk Oblast, on Feb. 5.

The attack allegedly killed Alexey Poteleshchenko, the Russian-installed head of the emergency situations department of occupation authorities in Luhansk Oblast. Russian proxy forces in Luhansk Oblast blamed Ukraine and claimed that the attack on a local bakery killed 28 people.

Kyiv did not comment on the supposed attack.

Suspilne Donbas wrote, citing a source in the exiled Lysychansk military administration, that the bakery opened only after the start of the occupation. It was allegedly used to prepare food for Russian proxy forces and hosted regular meetings for Russian occupants, Suspilne Donbas wrote.

The Kyiv Independent could not verify the reports of the attack or information about casualties.

Lysychansk was captured by Russian forces in July 2022 as the last Ukrainian holdout in Luhansk Oblast at the time. It is currently located around 10 kilometers behind the front line. Ukraine presently holds several settlements on the western edge of the oblast.

While the city's population before February 2022 amounted to around 90,000 residents, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Verseshchuk estimated that by July 2022, the vast majority of residents had evacuated, and the population had dropped to below 12,000.

Exiled Mayor Valerii Shybiko said in July 2023 that all medical facilities in the occupied city have been re-purposed as military hospitals for Russian troops and that the city suffers from power shortages and a lack of drinking water.

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