High-ranking separatist commander killed in eastern Ukraine

File photo: Alexei Mozgovoi speaks to the Associated Press on November 8, 2014.

Story highlights

  • 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.