A pro-Kremlin official in the Russian-controlled port city of Berdyansk in southern Ukraine fell seriously on Tuesday after being injured in a car explosion, Moscow authorities said.
City commander Artem Bardin was taken to hospital “in serious condition” following the explosion of a bomb in his car, local officials in the city said.
His death was previously announced by the Berdyansk city government and a pro-Kremlin regional official later retracted that and said that Bardin was alive but seriously injured.
“He was seriously injured but fortunately alive. Doctors are fighting to save him,” said the head of the Moscow-installed Zaporizhzhia regional government, Yevgeny Balitsky.
Pro-Russian local officials accused “Ukrainian terrorists” of being behind the attack, which they said was intended to intimidate Ukrainian officials who sided with Russia.
In recent months, several officials installed by Russian forces in Moscow-controlled territories in Ukraine have been killed or wounded in attacks.
Kyiv has not officially claimed responsibility for them.
In late August, Alexei Kovalev, a former legislator who had become a loyalist and became a high-ranking official in the Russian-installed government, was shot dead.
Ukraine has claimed its first success in a counter-offensive against Russian troops in the south, saying it has recaptured several areas and destroyed many targets.
Russian-installed authorities in the Ukrainian-occupied Kherson region on Monday hinted at a delay in the planned referendum in southern Ukraine amid the counter-offensive.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)