LONDON (Reuters) – The Russian-appointed administrator of a small town in the Russian-occupied east of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region has been killed by a car bomb presumed to be the work of Ukrainian saboteurs, the regional occupation authorities said, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.

The military-civilian administration said Yevgeny Yunakov, chief administrator of Velikyi Burluk, had been killed by a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group, according to TASS.

While Russia has said explicitly that it wants to remove the eastern Ukrainian provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk from Kyiv’s control, it shows no sign of wanting to relinquish other territories that it has seized since invading Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Alongside parts of the Kharkiv region in the east, Russian forces have also captured swathes of the southern Ukrainian provinces of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Also on Monday, occupation authorities in Zaporizhzhia reported that Andrei Siguta, the Russian-installed district head of Melitopol, one of the first towns to fall to Russian forces, had escaped an attempt on his life by a saboteur shooting at his house.

Vladimir Rogov, a senior member of the Russian-appointed civil-military administration of Zaporizhzhia province, said on his Telegram channel that the would-be assassin had been killed in a shootout.

On June 24, a senior official in the Russian-installed Kherson regional administration was killed by a bomb, according to the deputy head of the administration.

The following day, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence declined to comment on partisan resistance efforts in occupied territories, but told Reuters that “those people who betrayed Ukraine and all those wretches who came here to destroy our country will be destroyed”.

Russia calls the invasion a “special military operation” and says it had to act to protect Ukraine’s Russian-speakers from persecution and defuse a Western-backed threat to Russia’s security.

Kyiv and the West say these are baseless pretexts for a war of imperial conquest.

(Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

  • Reuters

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