An anti-war protester was arrested in central Moscow yesterday after setting fire to the car of a Russian general in charge of military censorship.
The attack, reported by Russia’s Baza news agency, is among the most violent anti-war protests in Ukraine yet and comes a week after a car bomb blast killed Darya Dugina, a rising pro-Kremlin journalist, in the capital .
Police told Baza that a woman poured gasoline on Yevgeny Sektarev’s BMW X6 before he set it on fire.
Photos showed the mangled wreckage of the car’s trunk, which was parked in front of a block of flats.
Mr. Sektarev is deputy chief of the 8th Directorate of the Russian General Staff, the department responsible for censorship of soldiers and officers.
According to Baza, the woman told police she burned the car in protest of the war.
Vladimir Putin’s regime has arrested thousands of people simply for speaking out against the war, an offense now punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
As a result, public protest has been limited, but saboteurs have firebombed army recruitment centers and hacked government websites. Before Dugina’s assassination, Moscow felt distant from the war in Ukraine. But the attack in an affluent neighborhood that Russia accused Ukraine of sparking concern among the capital’s elite.
Kyiv says it has nothing to do with the murder, and officials are pointing fingers at Russian intelligence.
The burning of Sektarev’s car happened as Russian forces stepped up attacks in eastern Ukraine and pulled Ukrainian units from the southern front, where Kyiv is reportedly planning an offensive to retake the Kherson region.
But despite intensifying its attacks on Siversk and Bakhmut, north of the city of Donetsk, the British Ministry of Defense said Russian forces had made little progress. “Overall, Russian forces have made few territorial gains,” their daily intelligence briefing said.
Journalists covering Bakhmut, which had a population of 72,000 before the war, said most residents have since fled the city. The video showed empty streets populated by stray dogs, some of which were pets abandoned during rushed evacuations. Artillery boom swaps splices for videos from Bakhmut.
Many of its buildings now lie in ruins. Ukrainian officials said several civilians died in the Russian bombings.
As the Kremlin resumes its offensive in Donbass, the Ukrainian government ordered more civilians to evacuate from more regions. The Ukrainian government not only ordered civilians in Donetsk to flee, but also asked people in eastern Kharkiv region, southern Zaporizhia and Mykolaiv to leave their homes.
“I call on people to evacuate and not to hope that the enemy will show mercy,” said Iryna Vereshchuk, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government has already urged people to flee the city of Kherson, where it is planning an offensive.
The Russian army captured the city of Kherson in the early days of the war, and its officials have since tried to turn it into an enviable model for life under their control. But residents have said that the Russian occupiers rule out of fear, arresting and torturing dissidents. They also said that jobs and food are running out and that the economy is collapsing.
These complaints are not limited to Kherson. Promised reconstruction failed to materialize in Mariupol, which was devastated by intense Russian bombing during the first six weeks of the war.
Instead, Russian news outlets were reduced to covering the installation of the city’s first working traffic lights last week.
Putin has also made an uncharacteristic omission that parts of Ukraine conquered by Russia have not proved attractive places for families to live.
The Kremlin pays 10,000 rubles, around 166 euros, to the parents of every child who registers for school in these areas, he said.
Meanwhile, an FBI chief has said in a rare interview that a Russian official is expected to defect and work with Western intelligence agencies as the war with Ukraine progresses.
Michael Driscoll, the head of the New York FBI office, said it was “very likely” that a disgruntled Kremlin apparatchik would part ways with the Russian president as a victim of his invasion.
“In moments like this, when you are dealing with a significant conflict and there are obviously clear disagreements between Russian citizens, and you can see that from the protests on the streets of Russia, there is a chance that someone is willing to Having a conversation, letting us know about it, and trying to maybe do what’s right for the greater good, I think is very likely,” said Driscoll.
The FBI chief spoke to journalist Richard Kerbaj for his new book The Secret History of the Five Eyes and this excerpt was exclusively shared with The Sunday Telegraph.
“History has shown us that this kind of thing happens all the time,” he said.
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https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/russian-generals-bmw-is-torched-by-anti-war-protestor-41942181.html The Russian general’s BMW is set on fire by an anti-war protester