Military governor killed in blast in southeastern Ukraine

The head of the Berdyansk administration died in a hospital after being injured in a car blast, according to the local authorities

Military governor killed in blast in southeastern Ukraine

Military governor killed in blast in southeastern Ukraine

Berdyansk‘s local leader died in a hospital after sustaining severe injuries in a car blast

Artyom Bardin, the head of the Russian-controlled military-civilian administration in the southern Ukrainian city of Berdyansk, died on Tuesday after being severely injured in a car blast. His vehicle had been blown up earlier that day in an attack local authorities blamed on Ukrainian “infiltrators.”

The city of Berdyansk was seized by Russian forces early in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev and has remained under Russian control ever since. A powerful explosion hit Bardin’s car as it was parked near the local administration office. Three other civilian vehicles were damaged in the blast, Russian media outlets reported. Photos that surfaced on social media showed the official’s car burnt to ashes.

Who was behind the attack is still unclear. The local authorities had previously said that they were still searching for a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance unit. 

Bardin was reportedly the only person injured in the blast. The man was hospitalized in serious condition and his death was later confirmed by the local administration. “According to our information, he succumbed to his wounds,” Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Zaporozhye Region administration, told journalists. 

Rogov also said that the local authorities considered the incident a terrorist attack perpetrated by the “terrorists of the Zelensky regime,” referring to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

It is not the first such case in the Russian-controlled southern Ukrainian region. In late August, the deputy commander of local traffic police in Berdyansk, Alexander Kolesnikov, was killed in a similar incident. 

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that would never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.