According to representative of the DPR Defense Ministry, Mikhail Tolstykh was killed by a shot from the Shmel flamer.
According to preliminary data, commander of the Somali battalion of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Mikhail Tolstykh, also known as Givi, lost his life as a result of a shot from the Shmel flamer, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed DPR.
“According to preliminary data, Givi was killed with a shot from the Shmel flamer,” a representative of the department told the news agency.
According to commander of the Legion division, a deputy of the DPR parliament Sergei Zavdoveev, Givi was lying on the floor, his feet were turned to the window. One his leg was completely torn off, while the second leg was without a foot, as well as a part of his head was cut off.
Earlier, the DPR Defense Ministry said that the commander of the Somali battalion was killed in a terrorist attack, and called it “a continuation of the terrorist war, launched by the Kiev authorities against residents of the Donbass.” In connection with the death of Givi, the DPR has strengthened security measures.
The representative of the DPR Defense Ministry also added that the republic blames Ukrainian special services for the death of Givi.
“According to circumstantial evidences, we can easily state that this tragedy was organized by Ukrainian special services. We do not rule out involvement of adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs, [Zoryan] Shkiryak, in this terrorist act,” the representative told journalists.
Meanwhile, press secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said that the Kremlin hoped that there is a “sufficient safety margin” that would allow to avoid further escalation in the Donbass after the murder of the commander of the Somali battalion.
“Obviously, we are talking about attempts to destabilize the situation in the Donbass. Of course, we hope that there is a certain margin of safety, and those, who are behind such killings, will not manage to lead to further escalation. The situation is already, unfortunately, very tense, in connection with the aggressive actions, which are taken by the Ukrainian side,” Peskov said.
At the same, Peskov rejected accusations of involvement of Russia in the murder.
“We absolutely and quite clearly exclude any [involvement], deny charges of the Russian side of possible involvement in this, it cannot be considered. And as for those, who are behind the attempts of destabilization, they must be identified in the course of investigative actions,” the press secretary said.
Givi’s funeral will be held on February 10. Three days of mourning will be announced in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Since May 2014, Tolstykh participated in the battles for Slavyansk, in the summer of 2014 – in clashes in the area of Ilovaysk. Since September 2014, he took part in the battle for the Donetsk airport. In September 2016, Givi was awarded the rank of colonel of the DPR.