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Rebel Warlord Killed by Bomb in Ukraine as Fighting Intensifies

  • Fighter nicknamed Motorola dies in Donetsk apartment building
  • Ukraine sees separatists ramping up attacks in nation’s east
Arsen Pavlov, center, was also known as Motorola.

Arsen Pavlov, center, was also known as Motorola.

Photographer: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

A notorious rebel warlord linked with multiple executions of hostages in eastern Ukraine was assassinated, further unraveling the latest attempt at a truce in the two-year conflict between Russian-backed separatists and the army.

Russian-born Arsen Pavlov, 33, known as Motorola, was killed Sunday by an explosive device in the elevator of his apartment building. The separatist authorities in the city of Donetsk accused Ukrainian commandos of the hit, with leader Alexander Zakharchenko saying there’d be “no mercy” in pursuing those responsible. Ukraine blamed the death on fighting within the rebel groups, who’ve lost other members in assassinations and whose leaders have also been targeted.