A major general of the Russian FSB security services is seriously injured after an explosion in his house in Luhansk.
Yuri Afanasevskii, 64, is in critical condition in hospital, as is his son, who some sources say was also caught in the attack.
Explosives were allegedly placed by a Ukrainian sabotage group in a mobile phone given to him.
Russian sources blame Ukraine’s SBU secret service for the attack in the Russian-occupied People’s Republic of Luhansk.
Afanasevskii was head of customs in Ukraine’s Luhansk region, which Vladimir Putin’s forces annexed in 2014 and last year claimed to be incorporated into Russia.
Yuri Afanasevskii, Major General of the Russian FSB Security Service, is seriously injured after an explosion in his house in Luhansk, according to reports
It has been sanctioned by Britain, EU, Canada, Switzerland and Japan.
The Major-General has been shown to have financial interests in the British Virgin Islands.
A woman was arrested on suspicion of handing him a cell phone and a concealed explosive. She is being investigated for attempted murder and handing over an explosive device to the FSB agent.
She handed him “a cell phone with an explosive device that was detonated after the phone was activated.” The attacker is arrested, she has already confessed,” said the Russian investigative committee.
Investigators had “interviewed a wide range of people” and “seized items of interest” following the explosion.
An RT report said the wife of the FSB official was also injured in the blast.
A statement from the Russian investigative committee said: “The man and his son suffered multiple injuries. They are currently in a medical facility.
Reports of Afanasevskii’s attack came just days after another Russian major general was killed by a drone in Russia while mowing his lawn on his day off.
Alexei Chernykh, deputy head of a local anti-corruption police branch, was blown up by a drone at his home in the Russian village of Schetinovka, according to reports.
The village is just 1.6 km from the Russia-Ukraine border in Belgorod Oblast, which has been subject to frequent drone strikes in recent months as Ukraine intensified its attacks cross-border.
The Baza Telegram Channel, which has links to Russian security services, said a drone dropped a bomb on Chernykh’s property on Sunday August 27.
Afanasevskii was reportedly attacked in the Russian-occupied Luhansk People’s Republic, where heavy fighting is raging (pictured)
Alexei Chernykh (pictured right), deputy head of a local anti-corruption police branch, was blown up by a drone at his home in the village of Schetinovka late last month.
“A Ukrainian drone dropped ammunition at its site in Shchetynovka,” the Telegram channel reported. “At the time, Alexei was on leave mowing (his) lawn,” the statement added, adding that he was killed in the incident.
The police lieutenant colonel would have been 40 on the day he was allegedly murdered, according to information posted on his social media account.
Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov accused Ukraine of being behind a drone strike in the region on the same day, saying it killed a “civilian”.
He accused Ukraine of dropping “an explosive device from a drone” which hit a civilian who was “in his summer cottage mowing the grass” at the time.
Gladkov said the man died from shrapnel wounds.
He did not name the person killed in the attack.
Ukraine, which has yet to score major successes in its summer ground counteroffensive, has hit Russia hard in recent months, including an attack on the Kremlin in May and numerous drone attacks on civilian targets in Moscow.
Ukraine generally does not comment on those responsible for the attacks on Russian territory, although officials have publicly expressed satisfaction with them.
If Chernykh’s death is confirmed, he will become the last senior Russian official to meet his demise since Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine.
Russian sources have confirmed that at least six generals have been killed since February 2022 (including four with the rank of major general and two lieutenant generals), with Ukraine saying the real figure is 15.
Either way, the number of Russian generals killed in the conflict is unprecedented since World War II.
This toll has been attributed to senior commanders personally going into the field to resolve command difficulties, faltering performance of Russian forces on the front lines, communications insecurity, and American intelligence gathering.
In late July, Lieutenant General Oleg Tsokov, 51, was killed in a strike believed to have been carried out using a British-supplied Storm Shadow missile.
Tsokov was personally known to Putin and had been sanctioned by Britain and the EU for his role in the war against Ukraine.
At least six generals have been confirmed by Russian sources to have been killed since February 2022 (including four who held the rank of major general and two lieutenant generals) – a number not seen since World War II.
Separately, Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday approved the dismissal of Oleksii Reznikov from the post of defense minister and Rustem Umerov from the post of head of the main privatization agency, paving the way for Umerov to succeed Reznikov.
President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Sunday that he was sacking Reznikov and offered Umerov to replace him.
To do this, he asked parliament to approve their removal from their current positions and to support the appointment of Umerov as defense minister.
Parliament completed the first stage of the process in two separate votes on Tuesday and is expected to back Umerov’s nomination in a vote on Wednesday. Reznikov resigned on Monday.
The moves constitute the biggest upheaval to the defense establishment in 18 months of war with Russia.
Reznikov has been at the forefront of lobbying in Kiev for Western weapons to fight the Russian invasion, but his departure after months of corruption allegations against his ministry is unlikely to have a big impact on the military operations.
Confirming that parliament had voted to remove Reznikov, the Defense Ministry praised his work and listed some of the weapons Ukraine has received since Russia’s full-scale invasion.
“He served in this position for 22 months and made the impossible possible by securing a large-scale supply of weapons for the #UAarmy from the free world,” he said on social media platform X. .
He adds that the F-16 fighter jets, which kyiv has not yet received, “will make Ukraine’s victory inevitable”.
The result of the vote to remove Umerov from his current position was confirmed by several deputies present at the parliamentary session.
Umerov, 41, is a Crimean Tatar and former lawmaker who has been a member since 2020 of a government task force working on a strategy to end the occupation of Crimea, which has been seized and annexed by Russia in 2014.