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Pro-Russia mayor of occupied Ukrainian village killed by car bomb

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 24/08/2022 James Kilner
Ukraine - Evgeniy Maloletka/AP © Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Ukraine - Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

A car bomb has killed the pro-Russian mayor of an occupied village in southern Ukraine.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for killing Ivan Sushko in the village of Mikhailovka. The bombing comes after Ukrainian partisans have been targeting officials who collaborated with the invading Russian army.

Vladimir Rogoz, the head of the Russian-installed authorities in the Zaporizhzhia region, said a bomb had exploded under Sushko’s car.

“He was wounded and taken to hospital in critical condition, where he died,” Mr Rogoz said on his Telegram channel.

Partisans have killed at least three pro-Russian officials in occupied parts of Ukraine in recent months. Several other assassination attempts have killed or wounded pro-Russia police officers.

Car bombs are a favoured tactic, although one senior pro-Russia official was shot dead as he left his apartment. The pro-Russia governor of Kherson city is also on a ventilator in a Moscow hospital after being poisoned.

Partisans have said they stepped up their assassination and sabotage campaign to coincide with a planned offensive by Ukraine to recapture Kherson and other regions of southern Ukraine that Russia captured in the opening days of its invasion.

The southern front line is around 15 miles north of Kherson. Ukrainian long-range artillery has been pounding Russian supply lines, blowing up key bridges to Kherson city.

Officials have tried to incorporate the Kherson region into Russia, imposing the Rouble currency, a Russian curriculum in schools and Russian mobile phone networks. 

However, Ukrainian people in Kherson have been resisting the new regime, refusing the offer of a Russian passport and leaving the region, according to reports.

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