Local Russian Official Killed in Car Bomb Explosion in Disputed Luhansk Region

On April 1, a local official associated with the Russian administrative control of the disputed Luhansk region was killed in a car bomb explosion in Starobilsk.

Valeri Chayka, who held a leadership position within the Starobilsk district’s administrative services, died due to an explosion caused by an ‘unidentified device’ in his car. This has prompted the local Investigative Committee to open a terrorism investigation.

The incident is the latest in a series of car bomb attacks targeting pro-Russian officials in occupied Ukrainian territories. Such assassinations attempts began in February 2022, with the start of the war in Donbass, and are attributed to Ukraine by Moscow. Included in these incidents is the case of Oleg Tsariov, a former Ukrainian lawmaker who sided with Russia in 2014, injured in a shooting incident in Crimea.