Petr Andryuschenko called the strike “heavenly punishment,” insisting it was legitimate because it claimed the life of Lugansk’s emergencies minister
The emergencies minister of Russia’s Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Aleksey Poteleschenko, was confirmed on Monday as being among the victims of the recent Ukrainian strike on a bakery in the city of Lisichansk. The attack claimed the lives of 28 civilians.
While the strike has been squarely described by Moscow as a “terrorist attack” perpetrated by Kiev, the death of the regional cabinet minister actually legitimizes the strike, Petr Andryuschenko, an aide to the Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol (who fled the city in early 2022) has suggested. Mariupol, located in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), was liberated by Russian forces early in the ongoing conflict, and joined Russia after a referendum in late 2022.
“At the end of the week, late in the evening, heavenly punishment visited Lisichansk in a restaurant near a bakery, where the top collaborators had already celebrated two birthdays,” Andryuschenko wrote on Telegram, claiming that only the restaurant was destroyed, while the bakery itself remained “intact.”
It was not immediately clear where he’d come by his information, given that the bakery and the restaurant were effectively a single establishment, located in the same building. Its structure ended up heavily damaged in the Ukrainian strike, partially collapsing and burying dozens of civilians under the rubble. Additionally, the strike did not exactly happen “late in the evening” as Andryuschenko claimed, occurring shortly after 5pm local time.
The official also urged the Ukrainian side to brag about such attacks in the future, arguing that Kiev should have broke the news on the strike first, while describing the bakery as an “assembly point” of “collaborators,” and therefore depriving Russia of the “information field advantage.”
The death of Poteleschenko was confirmed by the acting head of the LPR, Leonid Pasechnik. According to the latest official tally, the strike on the bakery left 28 people dead, including one child.
“He was a courageous man with an iron character and great fortitude. He defended the Lugansk People’s Republic within the ranks of the People’s Militia, then worked in the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the LPR. For a year, he headed the Lisichansk fire and rescue squad,” Pasechnik wrote, eulogizing the fallen official on Telegram.
Russian troops secured the city of Lisichansk in early July 2022, making it one of the last municipalities in the LPR to be liberated. However, the city, which remains close to the front line, has been a frequent target of Ukrainian artillery and missile attacks ever since. Saturday’s strike, however, was reportedly the deadliest to date in the community in terms of civilian casualties.
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