A powerful explosion has occurred in the centre of the temporarily occupied city of Melitopol. An official representing the occupying authorities was likely inside the car that exploded.
Details: RIA Melitopol, a Russian propaganda news agency, has reported that a car was blown up in Melitopol at 48, Heroiv Ukrainy Street. The explosion took place in the yard near a nine-storey residential building.
RIA Melitopol reported that "an official" was killed. It was later reported that the car belonged to collaborator and firefighter Dmytro Kucherkov.
The media reported that an "official" was killed.
Update: Ukrainska Pravda sources in the Security Service of Ukraine have confirmed the death of the "official" and reported that it was Ivan Tkach, whom the occupiers appointed as director of the City Transport Municipal Unitary Enterprise of the military-civilian administration of Melitopol in early September 2022.
The Security Service of Ukraine reported that from the beginning of March 2022, Tkach proactively organised city passenger transportation under the leadership of Serhii Zolotaryov (the First Deputy of the so-called "Head of the Military Civilian Administration of Melitopol").
He established transport links with the temporarily occupied territories in Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, which he openly talked about in propaganda videos.
Tkach was involved in organising the transfer of personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation from Donetsk and Kherson oblasts and the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to and from Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
Using the available vehicle fleet of the City Transport municipal company, he arranged transportation for Wagner Group mercenaries to the front line in Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
It was also reported that firefighter and collaborator Dmytro Kucherkov might have been killed in the car explosion.
Collaborator Vladimir Rogov claimed that the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado that was blown up supposedly belonged to Ivan Tkach, a local entrepreneur who owned one of the largest private transport companies in Melitopol.
Initially, Rogov said that one person was hurt in the explosion; later, he said that it was two people, a man and a woman. Both were taken to hospital.
He added that an improvised explosive device was used to blow up the car.
Rogov also stated that "according to preliminary reports, the force of the explosion that destroyed the car near the market in Kirov Street was the TNT equivalent of about 1 kg of explosives."
Dmytro Kucherkov is the former acting head of the Melitopol City and District Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, who agreed to cooperate with the occupiers.
Photos and videos from the explosion site are being posted on Telegram.
Reminder: This is not the first time that a car has been blown up in Melitopol.
A vehicle belonging to Russian occupiers exploded in the centre of the occupied city on 23 December 2022. Andrii Blavatskyy, a police officer recruited by the Russians, was among the victims.
Dmytro Trukhin, a former MP from Opposition Platform-For Life, a pro-Russian party that is now banned, was wounded in аn explosion on 15 November, as was Mykola Volyk, a local collaborator, on 6 December.