MOSCOW, Dec 6 — A Russian-backed politician who served as a proxy lawmaker in Ukraine’s eastern Lugansk region was killed in a car bombing attack today, investigators said.

Several high-profile backers of Russia’s assault on Ukraine and Moscow-installed officials have been attacked since Russia launched its offensive last February.

Oleg Popov, who served as a deputy in the pro-Moscow Lugansk regional parliament, was killed after the “detonation of an unidentified device in a car”, Russia’s Investigative Committee said, without providing detail.

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“The circumstances of the incident and the persons involved in the commission of these crimes are being established,” it added.

The attack occurred near the stadium in Lugansk city centre, Russian-installed official Vladimir Rogov said.

“In the centre of Lugansk, terrorists blew up a car,” he said, posting an image of an object engulfed in flames outside what appeared to be the stadium.

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The attack comes less than one month after fellow Lugansk region lawmaker Mikhail Filiponenko was killed by a car bomb under his 4x4, in an assassination claimed by Kyiv.

Ukraine did not immediately comment on Popov’s reported death. — AFP