A Russia-installed official who had been tasked with overseeing administrative activities in Mikhailovka, a small city of 50,000 people in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhia region, was killed in a car bombing attack on Wednesday, a member of the region’s Russian-backed administration has announced.
The killing of Ivan Sushko comes less than a week after Darya Dugina, the daughter of the Russian philosopher and geopolitical thinker Alexander Dugin, was murdered in a car bombing attack. It is the latest of a slew of partisan attacks that have taken place in recent weeks against Kremlin officials in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, Echo of the Caucasus reports.
Commenting on the attack, Vladimir Rogov, a member of Zaporizhzhia’s Russian-backed administration, wrote: “An explosive device was placed under the car seat. Ivan Sushko was wounded in the explosion and hospitalized in critical condition. Soon after he died.” Rogov has accused Kyiv of orchestrating bombing, slammed the government as a “terrorist organization,” and called for its “destruction.” Kyiv has yet to provide comments on the incident.
Sushko’s assassination took place as Ukrainians celebrated Independence Day and the United States announced an additional military aid package totaling some $3 billion. So far, six months into the Russo-Ukrainian war, the U.S. government has sent over $50 billion in military and non-military aid to Ukraine.
Earlier this week, on Monday night, Igor Telgin, the Russian-appointed deputy head of the internal policy department in Kherson, was reportedly hospitalized after the vehicle was hit with a radio-controlled roadside bomb. Local Russian authorities claim that he is “alive and well” with no serious “complications.”
In the past weeks and months, at least two other Russian officials appointed to administer the newly captured territory in Kherson, situated about 100 kilometers to the southeast of Mykolaiv, have been assassinated.
Vitaliy Gura, an official in the city of Novaya Kakhovka in the Kherson region was shot dead near his home on August 6th, Russian state-media TASS reported. Two days later, Vladimir Saldo, the head of Russia’s regional administration of the Kherson region, was poisoned. Currently, he is in a toxicological intensive care unit in Moscow. In late June, Dmitry Savluchenko, another official in the Russian-controlled Kherson region, was assassinated in a car bombing.