FSB says ‘supporter’ of pro-Ukraine militia killed in blast during arrest attempt

Photo: screenshot from an FSB video

Photo: screenshot from an FSB video

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) thwarted an attempted bomb attack at a humanitarian aid collection point in central Russia’s Samara region, the FSB’s press service said on Tuesday.

The FSB, which didn’t give a date for the incident, said that the attacker had detonated an improvised explosive device as he was being arrested and was killed in the ensuing blast, adding that he had been a supporter of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC), a paramilitary group of Russian soldier fighting alongside the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

A video posted by the FSB shows security officers deployed to a forest area at night, shouting at the alleged attacker, who is not seen, to “drop” something, after which a blast is heard. The video then cuts to a blurred figure lying in the snow in daylight.

Russian media outlets have identified the alleged attacker as local activist Andrey Zhvakin, who staged several one-man protests after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. Zhvakin was fined for “discrediting the Russian military” in September 2022 and said he was beaten at a police station after being detained in February 2023.

Zhvakin’s acquaintances told Novaya Europe that they had not seen him “for some time”. Local media outlet believes Zhvakin could have died as early as 15 March, as the house where he lived was cordoned off by the police on the same day. The FSB said in their statement that the attacker had a “laboratory for the manufacture of explosives” at home.

According to the FSB, Zhvakin was recruited by Ukrainian special services with the help of an RVC member Alexander Kudashev.

The RVC press service denied any ties with Zhvankin in a comment to Novaya Europe, adding that Russia would now “lay the blame for all possible terror attacks on the RVC to justify its war against Ukraine”.

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