Russia denies role in deadly bomb blast targeting Ukrainian deputy

Two killed and nationalist politician hurt in latest attack on prominent people in Kiev

Police examine a crime scene after an explosion in which Ukrainian lawmaker Igor Mosiychuk was wounded and his bodyguard killed in Kiev on Wednesday night. Photograph: Stepan Franko/EPA

The Kremlin has denied being behind a bomb attack in Kiev that killed two people and injured Ukrainian nationalist deputy Ihor Mosiychuk, in the latest attack on a prominent figure in a country that is fighting an undeclared war with Russia.

Ukraine’s security service said a bomb attached to a moped exploded as Mr Mosiychuk and associates left a television station on Wednesday night, killing his bodyguard and a passerby and showering the deputy with shrapnel.

“I think the person who ordered this is in Moscow and the people who conducted it are from Kiev,” Mr Mosiychuk told local media in hospital after surgery.

"It is possible that the agents are part of the 'patriotic' community. This is the first assassination attempt on a state figure of this level in Ukraine, " he added.


Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, said the response of his country's security services "to the actions of terrorists sent by the Russian Federation, should be an even tougher intelligence and counter-intelligence regime aimed at preventing attempts to commit murder and terrorist acts".

“We understand that the terrorist act was planned very carefully,” he added.

“They tracked the movements [of Mr Mosiychuk] through announcements on television channels and, knowing that the station is located on a quiet little street in a residential district, they decided to carry out the terrorist act there.”

‘Hysterical accusation’

Ukrainian officials did not immediately offer any evidence of Russian involvement in the blast, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "as usual, this is an absolutely baseless, unsubstantiated, hysterical accusation from Kiev, which were hear . . . against anyone who holds any kind of position in Moscow."

Mr Mosiychuk is a deputy from Ukraine's populist Radical Party with well-known nationalist views.

This week, he was among those who protested against the detention of far-right leader Mykola Kokhanivsky over an alleged shooting. The protests ended with police storming a Kiev courthouse to allow hearings to proceed.

Several prominent people have been the target of gun and bomb attacks in Kiev since a pro-western revolution in Ukraine in 2014, which prompted Russia to annexe Crimea and foment a separatist war in eastern regions that has claimed 10,000 lives.

Ukrainian officials claim the attacks are part of Kremlin efforts to destabilise their country, but no one has been brought to trial and domestic political, financial or criminal motives could also play a role in at least some of the incidents.

Denis Voronenkov, a former Russian deputy who fled to Kiev, was shot dead in March in a killing that prosecutors say was ordered by a Russian crime boss and Moscow's security services.

In July 2016, investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed when a bomb planted in his car exploded as he drove to work.

Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin is a contributor to The Irish Times from central and eastern Europe