A Russian-installed official’s car was blown up in an attack in Melitopol, southeastern Ukraine, the city’s mayor Ivan Fedorov said Thursday.
Fedorov, the mayor of the midsized Ukrainian city, said he received information from Ukrainian resistance forces that the car of “local top collaborator” Elena Shapurova was set on fire.
Shapurova, the head of a local technical college, was appointed as Melitopol’s education chief after Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s war began in February.
“A person who, in peaceful life, became famous for numerous corruption schemes in the college, found her ‘vocation,’” Fedorov wrote on his Telegram account. “She headed the occupation ‘department of education’ and helped the occupiers in every possible way to establish a racist ‘education’ regime.”
The mayor, citing eyewitnesses, said that Shapurova is alive “but she was scared to death.”
Earlier on Thursday morning, Fedorov said that a loud explosion was heard in a residential area of Melitopol, near the industrial and economic college.
Newsweek has been unable to verify Fedorov’s account independently, and has contacted Russia’s foreign ministry for comment.
The publication RIA Melitopol also reported on Telegram that Shapurova’s car had been bombed, and that she is alive.
Serhii Bratchuk, Odesa region military spokesman, said on his Telegram channel on Thursday that a red car had exploded in Melitopol.
On May 5, the ZaporizhzhiaCity Prosecutor’s Office said that Shapurova was suspected of collaborationism. According to an investigation, in March she voluntarily agreed to head the educational body illegally created after Russian forces seized the territory.
She was reportedly asked to organize the educational process in Melitopol according to Russian standards.
Multiple pro-Russian officials have been killed this month in Ukraine.
On September 16, authorities said Ukraine struck government buildings in the occupied Kherson region at least five times using U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), killing at least one person and wounding others.
Ekaterina Gubareva, the deputy head of the Russian-installed administration in Kherson, said that, at the time of the strike, a meeting was underway between the heads of the city and municipal districts.
Elsewhere on September 16, on the other side of the country, Sergei Gorenko, the prosecutor-general of the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine, and Ekaterina Steglenko, his deputy, were killed by a bomb blast at their offices, Russia’s state-run news agency Interfax said, citing emergency services. The cause of the explosion wasn’t clear.
And in occupied Berdyansk inside the Zaporizhzhia region, Oleg Boyko, a Russian-appointed “deputy mayor for housing and communal services,” and his wife Lyudmila, who headed the local territorial election commission for a referendum on joining Russia, were also killed on September 16, Interfax reported.
Russia has accused Ukraine of carrying out targeted strikes against Kremlin-appointed officials who have been working with Moscow in Putin’s war.
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