Ukraine partisans have opened a new front, mounting clandestine operations far behind enemy lines to target senior Russian officials and Ukrainians cooperating with the invaders.
The latest casualty of the stealth campaign is a senior official in the Russian-installed administration of Ukraine’s occupied Kherson region, killed by a suspected car bomb.
Russian officials identified the dead man as Dmitry Savluchenko, head of the families, youth, and sports department of the Kherson Military-Civilian Administration.
Russia’s TASS news agency said there were two burnt-out cars in the courtyard of a housing complex in the regional capital, adding that the windows of a four-storey house had been shattered by the huge blast..
Savluchenko was despised by Ukrainians for switching sides when Russia invaded and accepting a senior post in the occupation government.
An adviser to the Ukrainian governor of Kherson told Ukraine’s public news network Suspilne that the assassination was the “successful work of partisans” directed by Ukraine’s armed forces.
Increasing partisan activity
Kherson sits just northwest of the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula and was occupied during the first week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in February. A large part of the local population has left.
In the first weeks of the occupation there were regular civilian protests in the region, which were put down.
Since then, there have been reports of increasing partisan activity against the Russian-backed authorities.
On June 18, Ukrainian media reported that a local prison head who had joined the Russian-installed administration had been wounded in a bomb blast.
Two days later, Ukraine’s military said two Russian soldiers had been killed and another wounded when a gunman opened fire at a waterside café in Kherson city.
– with AAP