Emergency services inspect the wreckage of exploded car in Melitopol
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Two Russian spies have been “seriously injured” after a bomb in the engine compartment of their vehicle blew up. Footage from the scene shows the white Renault Duster engulfed in flames in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol in southeastern Ukraine. The two men, believed to be agents of Putin’s Federal Security Service (FSB), were trapped after the “door jammed in the car” as it burned, with one of them having a “limb torn off” as a result of the explosion.
Local sources suggested that “one is almost dead and the second is not able to work for a long time”.
A day prior to the attack, the pair had visited a local gym but parked “far away and walked”. The move allegedly aroused suspicions, as it is a tactic often used by Russian spies to ensure their safety.
An established Ukrainian news service based in Melitopol wrote on Telegram: “This morning, after a workout, they both went to have coffee at the Tort cafe-shop on Bogdan Khmelnitsky Avenue.
“Then they got into the car and, when they were backing up, there was a detonation in the engine compartment.
“One had his leg blown off after the explosion. From the side of the second intelligence officer, the door jammed in the car, and he was burned alive.”
Russian sources later said: “Saboteurs blew up a car where two persons of the Russian special services were driving.”
They added: “Both were seriously injured, one of them had a limb torn off.”
Ivan Fedorov, the exiled Ukrainian mayor of Melitopol, confirmed the explosion on Telegram but said the identity of the victims were still being “clarified”.
Melitopol, a port city in the partially occupied Zaporizhia region, has a thriving underground partisan network who frequently target Russian-installed officials and their collaborators.
The main bridge into the city, used by Russia to transport military equipment, was damaged by unexplained explosions recently.
It has been suggested that it was an attack orchestrated by pro-Ukrainian civilians with the help of Ukraine’s special forces.
On Thursday, the Russian-appointed head of a small village in the Kherson region, on the southern bank of the Dnipro river, was killed in a car bomb explosion allegedly carried out by the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service.
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Footage of the incident showed his vehicle engulfed in flames several metres high in the middle of Kakhovka, which neighbours the village of Lyubimovka.
Andrey Shtepa was appointed by Russia as the head of the village of Lyubimovka after Putin’s forces occupied the territory in the early days of the conflict and later annexed the region in September.
Another person in his car, believed to be either his driver or a security guard, was also killed in the explosion.
Less than a week earlier, on December 16, the deputy head of Berdyansk, a port city in the Zaporizhia Oblast, and his wife Lyudmila were killed near their garage.
Oleg Boyko was the deputy head of Berdyansk’s military-civil administration for housing and communal services.
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