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17 Apr, 2024 10:36

Second suspect detained over attempt to assassinate Ukrainian defector – FSB

The man allegedly delivered the components for the explosive device used in the botched hit, Russia’s Federal Security Service has said
Second suspect detained over attempt to assassinate Ukrainian defector – FSB

A second suspect has been detained in connection with an attempt to assassinate a former Ukrainian secret police agent in Moscow last week, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has announced.

The man allegedly delivered the components for the bomb that was used to blow up the car of Vasily Prozorov, who had previously served in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Kiev’s successor to the Soviet KGB. Prozorov’s driver, who was inside the SUV at the time of the explosion, survived.

The components of the explosive device were hidden by SBU officers inside a box containing manicure tools and hair care products, the agency said. A woman residing in Warsaw, Poland received the parcel with the hidden parts and passed it along to a private transport company for delivery to Moscow, it added.
According to the agency, the arrested “courier” received the parcel in Lithuania and delivered it to the Russian capital by car.

As instructed by the sender, the suspect handed the box over to a Russian citizen in his early 40s, who had been working for the SBU and carried out the attack, the FSB alleges. 

The agency announced that the suspect had been remanded into custody on Tuesday. He is believed to have assembled the bomb under the guidance of a Ukrainian curator and planted it on Prozorov’s car, according to the agency. 

“Measures to identify all organizers and accomplices of the crime, including foreign citizens, and bring them to criminal liability in accordance with Russian law are ongoing,” it added.

Prozorov worked for the SBU from 1999 to 2018. He made headlines in 2019 when he called a press conference in Moscow and confessed that he had been providing intelligence to Russia about his country’s security services during the fighting between Ukraine and Donbass separatists, which commenced in 2014 when a Western-backed coup took place in Kiev.

He said that he began working with the Russians due to “ideological motives,” describing the current Ukrainian authorities as a “bunch of scoundrels.”

The SBU responded by branding the former officer a “traitor,” and warned that it was “only a matter of time” before he ended up “just like Judas.”

SBU head Vasily Malyuk previously acknowledged to the media that his agency was believed to be masterminding the assassinations of supposed “enemies of Ukraine” inside Russia. He stopped short of claiming responsibility, but shared details about several such incidents.

There have been a number of killings of high-profile public figures in Russia since February 2022, when the armed conflict between Moscow and Kiev started. The victims include journalist and activist Darya Dugina, the daughter of Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin; popular military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky and Ukrainian opposition MP Ilya Kiva.