August 31, 2018 / 5:24 PM / in 5 months

Ukraine blames death of separatist leader on conflict between rebels and Russia

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s security service said on Friday it believed Russia-backed separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko had been killed in east Ukraine as a result of a conflict between the rebels and their Russian sponsors.

Moscow earlier accused Kiev of being behind an explosion that killed Zakharchenko in central Donetsk on Friday.

Yelena Gitlyanskaya, a spokeswoman for the Ukraine security service, said “all of the accusations that can be heard from the Russian side are not true”.

Reporting by Olena Vasina; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Gareth Jones

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