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Pro-Kremlin writer wounded in car bombing, his driver killed | Russia-Ukraine war news

The well-known nationalist author Zakhar Prilepin was an ardent supporter of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A prominent pro-Kremlin novelist was injured Saturday in a car bombing that killed his driver, Russian officials said, and investigators said a detained suspect admitted to acting on behalf of Ukraine.

Nationalist writer Zakhar Prilepin, an ardent supporter of what the Kremlin called a “special military operation” in Ukraine, was wounded in the Nizhny Novgorod region, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Moscow.

Nizhny Novgorod region governor Gleb Nikitin said Prilepin suffered a minor fracture and was receiving medical attention.

Russian news outlet RBC reported that Plepin returned to Moscow on Saturday from Ukraine’s partly occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions and stopped for dinner in the Nizhny Novgorod region.

The National Commission of Inquiry said it was treating the incident as an “act of terrorism”.

The council released a photo showing a white car overturned on the track next to the woods, next to a deep hole and metal debris scattered nearby.

The commission later issued a statement saying investigators were interrogating a suspect identified as Alexander Permyakov.

“The suspect was taken into custody and during questioning he gave testimony that he acted on instructions from Ukrainian special forces,” a woman in uniform read in a statement.

He admitted to detonating the bomb remotely and fled, but was taken into custody, the statement said.

Prilepin, who has boasted of taking part in military combat in Ukraine, is the third prominent pro-war figure to be bombed since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of its neighbor in February 2022.

In August 2022, a car bombing on the outskirts of Moscow killed Darya Dugina, the daughter of an influential Russian political theorist, often referred to as “Putin’s brain”. Authorities claimed Ukraine was behind the blast.

Last month, Vladlen Tatarsky, a popular military blogger, was killed in an explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg. Officials again accused Ukraine’s intelligence agency of orchestrating the incident.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in a telegram that “the facts have come true: Washington and NATO have contributed to another international terrorist organization – the Kiev regime.”

She said it was “the direct responsibility of the US and the UK”, but offered no evidence to support the allegation.

Ukraine’s SBU security service told the state Ukrinform news agency on Saturday that it could not confirm or deny involvement in the car bombing or other attacks.

“On an official level, we cannot confirm or deny the involvement of the SBU in this or other bombings by the occupiers or their followers,” Ukrinform quoted the agency as saying.

It was the second time this week that Moscow accused Ukraine of carrying out attacks on behalf of the West, a claim it appeared to push with increasing urgency, but which Kiev and Washington dismissed as baseless.

On Wednesday, Russia accused Ukraine of trying to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin in a nighttime drone attack on the Kremlin. Ukraine has also denied this, and the White House said the allegations of Washington’s involvement were “lies.”

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