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Pro-Russian MP killed in occupied Luhansk, Ukrainian intelligence suspected

Born in Luhansk, Oleg Popov initially engaged in business before the Russian occupation. However, post-2014, he shifted to politics as a collaborator and survived an unsuccessful assassination attempt last year.
Oleg Popov. Photo: obozrevatel.com

On 6 December, a car near occupied Luhansk’s Avangard stadium exploded, targeting Oleg Popov, a Russian-installed local parliament ‘deputy.’ Initially reported as surviving, later confirmation revealed his demise. This incident follows a previous unsuccessful attempt on Popov’s life last year.

“Has he perished or disappeared? As when he vanished last September, when there was allegedly an assassination attempt against him. Then, in February 2023, he suddenly resurfaced, having resolved all matters and revealing himself to be alive. He once declared in local media that “Russia will come and restore order,” wrote on Telegram the head of the Ukrainian Luhansk Regional Military Administration, Artem Lysogor.

Blown up Popov’s car. Photo: Suspilne

The occupying authorities labeled the incident a terrorist act, while Ukrainian broadcaster Suspilne asserted the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) involvement in Oleg Popov’s elimination.

“This was a wholly legitimate target, as before becoming a member of ”parliament,” Popov led many Russian volunteer battalions, headed illegal armed formations, and killed Ukrainians. He was the chairman of the [Russian-installed] Committee on State Security and Defense,” a source from Suspilne reported.

On 8 November, another pro-Russian MP, Colonel Mikhail Filiponenko, died in a car explosion in occupied Luhansk. Later, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency confirmed its involvement in the assassination of the colonel.

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