A Russian proxy chief in charge of a city in Ukraine’s occupied Zaporizhzhya region has been killed by a car bomb, the latest in a growing list of Kremlin-appointed officials to be insulted as Moscow tries to tighten its grip on stolen goods. strengthen areas.
Ivan Sushko, the head of Mykhailivka in the Zaporizhzhia region, was blown up when a bomb planted under the seat of his vehicle by unknown assailants detonated, according to Vladimir Rogov, a representative of the local Russian proxy administration.
Rogov announced on Telegram that Sushko was taken to a hospital in critical condition after the blast, but succumbed to his injuries there. The death of Sushko – who reportedly made his living as a toast master at weddings and Santa Claus before being appointed to lead Mykahilivka in April – comes just a day after local authorities said another Russian proxy leader survived a similar assassination attempt. .
Igor Telegin, the Russian-appointed deputy head of domestic policy for occupied Kherson, has reportedly been taken to a hospital with injuries all over his body after his car was hit by a radio-controlled bomb that exploded on the side of the road late Monday. was posted. But local authorities insist he is still “alive and well” and “without complications”.
At least two other officials appointed to lead the “new” Russian-controlled governments have been killed in recent weeks. Vitaly Gura, an official in the city of Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region, died on Aug. 6 after being shot near his home, local authorities said. Dmitry Savluchenko, another official in Russian-controlled Kherson, was killed in a car bomb attack in late June that the Kremlin called an “act of terrorism.”
Russian proxy leaders have blamed Ukrainian forces for the killings, though Ukrainian authorities say they believe an underground network is actively fighting the Russian takeover by taking Russian-backed officials one by one.
The latest murder came as Ukrainians celebrated Independence Day and the US announced nearly $3 billion more in military aidExactly six months after Russia launched its large-scale invasion, it unleashed devastation and air strikes as Russian forces tried but failed to capture the Ukrainian capital and install new leadership.
“Six months ago, Russia declared war on us. On February 24, all of Ukraine heard the explosions and shots. And on August 24, the words Happy Independence Day were not meant to be heard. On February 24, they said to us: ‘You don’t have a chance.’ On August 24, we say: Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday.
“The enemy thought we would meet them with flowers and champagne. Instead, they were given funeral wreaths and Molotov cocktails… The residents believed that [Russian] in a few days a parade would be held in the center of our capital. Today on [the main street] it is possible to see that parade…. Burnt, ruined and destroyed,” said Russian military equipment, Zelensky said.
Zelensky promised “not to compromise”, vowed to take back all the territory seized by Russian troops.
‘Don’t you want your soldiers to die? Liberate our country. Don’t you want your mothers to cry? Liberate our country,” he said.
Russia, meanwhile, spent the Ukrainian holiday trying to twist its military setbacks in the country. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, when meeting with defense officials, acknowledged a slowdown in Moscow’s territorial gains, but claimed it was a deliberate move to “prevent civilian casualties,” Russia’s TASS news agency reported.
British intelligence said Russia has made “minimal progress” in eastern Ukraine after naming that region as its new priority when it realized a full-scale takeover had failed.
“Operationally, Russia is suffering from a shortage of ammunition, vehicles and personnel. Morale is poor in many parts of his army and his army has been significantly degraded,” the Defense Ministry said in its latest assessment.
Amid fledgling military operations in Ukraine, Russia has also begun to ramp up its attacks on critics of the war at home. Yevgeny Roizman, the opposition politician and former mayor of Yekaterinburg, became the latest war opponent to be thrown in jail on Wednesday for allegedly “discrediting” the Russian military. Roizman joins at least 200 other people who are now facing criminal charges for speaking out against Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine.