Wednesday, 28 Feb 2024

'Female assassin' arrested after 'delivering bomb hidden in phone'

A major-general in Russia’s FSB security services has been seriously wounded in an explosion at his home in eastern Ukraine.

Yuri Afanasevskii, 64, and his son are both fighting for life in hospital following the blast, which is suspected to have been caused by a bomb concealed inside a mobile phone.

Russian sources have accused Ukraine’s SBU secret service of masterminding the attack in the illegally annexed Luhansk People’s Republic.

A woman has been detained on suspicion of attempted murder after allegedly handing him the rigged handset.

Afanasevskii was head of customs in the area of Ukraine’s Luhansk that Vladimir Putin’s forces seized in 2014 and last year claimed to incorporate into Russia. 

He was sanctioned by Britain, the EU, Canada, Switzerland and Japan. The major-general was shown to have financial interests in the British Virgin Islands. 

The Russian Investigative Committee said the woman being held ‘has already confessed’ to the bomb plot.

She told them she handed him ‘a mobile phone with an explosive device that was set off after the phone was activated’, they said.

Investigators have ‘interrogated a wide range of people’ and ‘seized objects of interest’ over the explosion. 

Afanasevskii’s wife was also injured in the blast, according to a report by RT.

A statement from the Russian Investigative Committee said: ‘The man and his son received multiple injuries. They are currently in a medical facility.’

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