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Car Bomb Kills Russia-Installed Official in Occupied Ukraine

A Russian-appointed official in southern Ukraine’s occupied city of Kherson was killed in an apparent car bomb attack, local authorities reported Friday.

Kherson’s so-called "military-civilian" administration told the state-run TASS news agency that one person died in a car explosion in a residential neighborhood in the early morning.

"Today, my friend, head of the department of family, youth and sports of the Kherson region, Dmitry Savluchenko, passed away," the Moscow-appointed deputy head of Kherson region, Kirill Stremousov, said on Telegram.

He added that Savluchenko died "as a result of a terrorist act in the city of Kherson."

Savluchenko's death marks the first confirmed death of a pro-Russian official in an attack in occupied Ukraine.

The Interfax news agency had earlier reported that the Moscow-installed official died in an explosion after a bomb was planted in his car.

Gruesome footage shared by pro-Kyiv social media accounts shows a badly damaged car parked in front of an apartment block and a body lying in the distance.

It is the latest in a string of apparent car bombings reported out of Kherson in recent weeks. The targets of the attacks, believed to be pro-Russian figures. have escaped serious injuries until now.

An aide to the head of Kherson administration loyal to Kyiv welcomed the attack, which killed a "pro-Russian activist and traitor."

"Our partisans have one more victory," Sergiy Khlan said on Facebook.

The Russian army conquered most of the Kherson region at the start of its Feb. 24 offensive.

Russian forces have since installed pro-Moscow “military-civilian administrations” in occupied areas and introduced Russian currency, media and internet services. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree “simplifying” the citizenship process for Ukrainians in occupied Kherson and partially occupied Zaporizhzhia, as well as the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions, on May 25.

Since shifting the focus of its invasion eastward following a failed effort to capture Kyiv, Russia has said its main objective is to “liberate” areas of eastern and southern Ukraine predominantly populated by Russian speakers.

AFP contributed reporting.

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