A Kremlin-installed proxy leader in a Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine was killed on Wednesday in a car bombing assassination as proxy officials in Russia-occupied Ukraine experience increased attempts against their lives.

Ivan Sushko, the Russian-appointed leader of the occupied Zaporizhzhia region in Ukraine, has been announced to have been killed in a car bombing done by unknown assailants. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his injuries there, according to the Daily Beast.

Vladimir Rogov, a member of Sushko’s administration, announced the death just days after Igor Telegin, a different Kremlin-backed official, was severely injured in another car bombing in occupied Kherson, the Moscow Times reported.

“An explosive device was placed under the car seat,” Rogov said. “Ivan Sushko was wounded in the explosion and hospitalized in a critical condition. He soon died.”

As Russia attempts to consolidate their gains in Ukraine by appointing leaders in the area, multiple assassination attempts on these officials have been mounted in the past few months as an underground resistance separate from the Ukrainian government has popped up in occupied parts of the country.

Beyond Sushko and Telegin, a Russian official in the Kherson region was killed earlier this month via assassination when he was shot near his home. Meanwhile, Dmitry Savluchenko was killed in June in a car bombing in what Russia has called a “terrorist act.”

Earlier this week, Kremlin-linked journalist Darya Dugina was killed in a car bombing in Russia which was taken credit for by a militant opposition group in the country.

As the Russia-Ukraine war continues, the Ukrainian government celebrated Ukraine’s independence day recently, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy giving a speech mocking Russia’s attempted invasion and pushing Ukrainians to keep fighting.

“The enemy thought we would meet them with flowers and Champagne. Instead, they received funeral wreaths and Molotov cocktails.… The occupants believed a [Russian] parade would be held in the center of our capital within a few days,” Zelenskyy said.

“Don’t want your soldiers to die? Free our land. Don’t want your mothers to cry? Free our land.”

A leader installed by the Kremlin in Russian-occupied Ukraine was killed on Wednesday in a car bombing assassination, the latest in a series of attacks that appears to be targeting Kremlin allies. This is a representational image. Riley Edwards/Unsplash.

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