Ukraine Targets Russian Military and Occupation Officials with Covert Operations and Munitions

Recent strikes in Ukraine target key military figures and installations. Photo: Screenshot

Ukraine has adopted a strategy that relies on precision-guided munitions and covert operations to target key military personnel and occupation authority officials. Recent reports have highlighted the success of these efforts, showcasing Ukraine’s determination to resist Russian dominance.

One of the recent victims of Ukraine’s assassination campaign was Mikhail Filiponenko, a senior security officer in the Moscow-controlled “Luhansk People’s Republic” (LPR). He tragically fell victim to a booby-trap bomb planted in his car near his apartment. Filiponenko had turned against Ukraine’s central government in 2014 and had previously survived a car bomb attack in February, according to reports.

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The effectiveness of Ukraine’s campaign was further demonstrated when at least one US-made HIMARS precision-guided missile struck a government building in the Russia-occupied city of Donetsk. The missile attack demolished the building’s roof and claimed the lives of at least six occupants. The targeted building, identified as the “Republic Center for UAV systems,” served as the main training site for attack drone pilots supporting Russian military operations in the region. The attack left at least 11 people injured, including some drone operators, with an unknown number of victims trapped in the rubble.

One of the most remarkable Ukrainian strikes targeting critical Russian military personnel occurred on November 1. In this incident, a British-manufactured Storm Shadow cruise missile struck a hotel in the Azov Sea resort city of Berdyansk. Ukrainian authorities claimed that the southern headquarters of all Russian occupation forces were housed in the building, and the attack potentially injured or killed Colonel General Mikhail Teplinskiy, the commander of Russia’s joint forces “Dnipro.” Colonel General Teplinskiy, a career paratrooper officer, had been popular with troops but was sacked in November 2022 after publicly expressing dissatisfaction with the weak artillery support that had led to heavy casualties among attacking Russian forces. He later returned to command the sector in September 2023, and Ukrainian intelligence was uncertain about his status following the attack.

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The Ukrainian Interior Ministry spokesman, Anton Gerashchenko, confirmed the deaths of three senior members of Colonel General Teplinskiy’s staff in the missile strike. These officers were identified as Colonel Vadim Dobryankov, Colonel Aleksei Koblov, and Colonel Aleksandr Galkin, all of whom were long-serving paratrooper officers and essential members of Teplinskiy’s command team for Joint Forces Dnipro.

In another significant development, Colonel Vladimir Popov, a prominent officer in the Terek Cossack Brigade, known for leading “separatist” attacks against Ukrainian government buildings and officials in 2014, passed away on November 3. It remained unclear whether his death, widely reported in both Ukrainian and Russian local media, was a result of combat or an assassination. Colonel Vladimir Popov, aged 66, met a violent end, as reported.

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In addition to military figures, Ukrainian partisans or special forces operators attempted to assassinate Oleg Tsaryov, a former member of Ukraine’s parliament who had aligned himself with Moscow following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014. While the ambush near Tsaryov’s home in the Crimean city of Yalta on October 27 left him severely injured and hospitalized, it was revealed that a suspect was arrested, confessing to cooperating with Ukraine’s national security service, the SBU, in the assassination attempt.

Oleg Tsaryov expressed his determination to return to work following his recovery, referring to the attack as a terrorist act. In a statement, he proclaimed, “I want to say that I have never been afraid of terrorists, let them be afraid. Sooner or later, they will have to answer for what they did. For the attack, for the acts of terror, for the war, for all that they have done with Ukraine.”

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Tsaryov also emphasized his priority of improving supply support to Russian troops on the frontline. This incident highlights the ongoing struggle between Ukrainian and Russian forces, as well as the high-stakes nature of these targeted actions.

Also Read: Weapons of Mass Destruction Concerns Amplified by Russian Security Chief

The most significant “decapitation” attack by Ukrainian forces thus far occurred on September 22 when three Storm Shadow missiles leveled a morning meeting attended by most of the senior officers of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in its headquarters in the city of Sevastopol. The strike reportedly resulted in numerous casualties, either killing or seriously injuring many, underscoring the intensity of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

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