File photo: Alexei Mozgovoi speaks to the Associated Press on November 8, 2014.
AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov, File
File photo: Alexei Mozgovoi speaks to the Associated Press on November 8, 2014.

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A separatist commander in eastern Ukraine was killed, his battalion announced

A pro-Ukrainian guerrilla group claims responsibility

CNN —  

A high-ranking separatist commander was killed in eastern Ukraine when his car was attacked in Luhansk region, his battalion announced in a video statement Sunday.

Alexei Mozgovoi, commander of the Prizrak, or Ghost, Battalion, was the target of the attack, Ukrainian and Russian media both reported.

A pro-Ukrainian guerrilla group called Shadows claimed responsibility for the attack, according to its leader, Aleksandr Gladkiy.

A pro-separatist news outlet confirmed Mazgovoi’s death, citing one of his battalion officers. The officer blamed “enemies” for the commander’s killing, but did not name a specific group.

According to Luhansk People’s Republic officials, the vehicle in which Mozgovoi was traveling was blown up by a bomb and then fired upon with machine guns. Six others were also killed in the attack.

Despite a fragile ceasefire that was agreed to in February, shelling in eastern Ukraine continues and casualties continue to mount.