A powerful explosion heard in Russia-occupied Melitopol, Zaporizhzhya Oblast, may have been the sound of Russian infighting, Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov said in a Telegram post on Sept. 18.
According to the mayor, the blast occurred at the city center, in the courtyard of a high-rise building. He suggested it could have been Russian security services “eliminating” a local collaborator.
“Preliminary reports suggest they were attempting to eliminate a collaborating police officer – the so-called ‘chief detective of the people’s militia’ – as part of factional infighting,” said Fedorov.
Fedorov was referring to Denys Stefankov, a Russia-appointed “police officer,” whose property was about to be seized by the “authorities.”
The Ukrainian military’s South Operational Command has urged Ukrainians in the Russian-occupied parts of southern Ukraine to avoid public places on Sept. 17-20, due to what is said was an elevated risk of Russian terror attacks.