A Ukrainian traitor who switched sides in Ukraine to become a Russian puppet official was assassinated in a horrific car bomb attack. Chilling surveillance video footage captures the moment the collaborator and Ukrainian separatist Askyar Laishev was blown to pieces while he was traveling in the car.
Although the incident happened on August 11, the news came to light only on Saturday. Laishev served for Ukraine's internal security service (SBU) before becoming the head of intelligence for the Moscow-backed Luhansk People's Republic in 2014. But on August 11, when he was traveling through the city, fighters of Ukraine's National Resistance in the war-torn Donbas region of eastern Ukraine exacted retribution by bombing his vehicle.
Surveillance video appears to show Laishev driving a dark SUV as it passes by a building in the Donbas region. Suddenly, as the car passes, a bomb goes off with a loud bang with fire leaving a trail of destruction.
The blazing trail was caused by a bomb that exploded as the car approached the trap. The line of fire covers the whole road and extends a few meters away. Black patches and skid marks on the road may be seen in photos taken after the attack.
Following its leak yesterday, the video has been widely circulated across Ukrainian Telegram communities.
The car was purportedly detonated by Ukrainian forces in the Russian-occupied city of Starobilsk, which is located in the province of Luhansk, one of the two that Vladimir Putin unilaterally recognized as independent before beginning an invasion of Ukraine. It is unclear if Laishev died instantly.
Laishev allegedly got out of the car after the explosion, but he subsequently died in a hospital, according to the underground fighters. According to the underground fighters, Laishev exited the vehicle following the explosion, but he later died away in a hospital.
Some also claim that he survived with 90 percent of his body burnt. However, that is unlikely given that it is almost impossible for a person to survive with more than 40 percent of body burns.
Visegrad24, a news aggregator bringing 24/7 updates from Ukraine, reports it is "more likely" Laishev died in the attack.
Revenge for Betrayal
News of Laishev's assassination comes after this week's identical murder of Putin official Ivan Sushko in Zaporizhzhia. "We emphasize once again that collaborationism is harmful to your health, so every traitor has vain hopes that retribution will not come to him," the National Resistance said in a statement.
According to British intelligence, the news of the attack comes as Russia is stepping up its attacks amid rumors of a significant Ukrainian counteroffensive in the eastern Donbas region.
"There is a realistic possibility that Russia has increased its efforts in the Donbas in an attempt to draw in or fix additional Ukrainian units, amid speculation that Ukraine is planning a major counter-offensive," the UK Ministry of Defense reported.
According to a classified document dated August 22, Russia has already moved 10 of its most powerful fighter aircraft, including six Su-35S and four MiG-31BM jets, from the area it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
They will return to airfields on the Russian mainland. Three-quarters of the province's inhabitants, according to the governor of Donetsk, have been evacuated amid the escalating attacks in the area.
"There is practically not a single major town or city that is not subject to [Russian] shelling," the governor told Ukrainian TV, Reuters reports.
As far as Laishev's assassination is concerned although several Ukrainian officials and a number of other sources have said Ukraine's special forces were likely responsible for the explosions, the country has not formally claimed credit for the strikes.
According to a NATO document obtained by Insider, the Belbek airfield, which is adjacent to the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol, currently has a sizable number of military aircraft, but these are not deemed sufficient to provide a consistent level of air support in the area.