14:03 GMT27 February 2021
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    Ukrainian special services played a role in this week’s assassination of a senior militias commander in Ukraine’s east, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR)’s Deputy Defense Minister Eduard Basurin said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Mikhail Tolstykh was killed on Wednesday in a rocket attack that DPR authorities described as a terror attack. He commanded a battalion called Somali and was promoted to colonel last September.

    "We have proved the complicity of several people in the murder and that they had cooperated with Ukraine’s special services," Basurin told journalists.

    Since May 2014, Mikhail Tolstykh had participated in the battles for Slavyansk, in the summer of 2014 in the fighting in Ilovaysk. In September 2014 he participated in the battle for the Donetsk airport. In September 2016 he was awarded the rank of Colonel of the Donetsk People's Republic.

    This is not the first killing of a Donbass militia commander not during battle. On October 16, a blast in an elevator killed a prominent commander of the Donetsk People's Republic colonel Arseniy Pavlov (call sign Motorola). The Donetsk authorities accused Kiev of masterminding the murder.


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