Thousands have turned out for the funeral of a senior commander of pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, who was killed in a bomb blast.

Arsen Pavlov, 33, known under his nom de guerre Motorola, was killed Sunday when an unidentified device exploded in an elevator of his apartment building in Donetsk. Rebel officials blamed the explosion on Ukrainian saboteurs.

Thousands lined up in Donetsk Wednesday to pay tribute at the local opera house, where his body was displayed.

Russian-born Pavlov became one of the most recognizable faces of the separatist movement. His unit took part in some of the fiercest battles in the conflict that has killed over 9,600 since April 2014.

Ukrainian officials have accused Pavlov of war crimes, and he once admitted personally killing 15 prisoners of war.