Kirill Stremousov, the Russian-appointed deputy head of Ukraine’s Kherson region, was killed in a car crash Wednesday — the same day Russian troops were ordered to retreat out of the region.
Stremousov, 45, is the most senior Russian-appointed official in occupied Ukraine to die since the start of the invasion in February.
His death was confirmed by his boss Vladimir Saldo, who is the Russia-backed acting governor of Kherson.
“It is very hard for me to say that Kirill Stremousov died today. He died on the territory of the Kherson region, travelling in a car that got into an accident,” Saldo said.
In a video posted to his Telegram channel, Saldo said Stremousov was “one of the brightest” who “was able to speak and deliver to people the truth about what is happening in the Kherson region.”
Before becoming second in command of the occupied Kherson, Stremousov was a vocal blogger and local politician with an aggressive social media presence.
Shortly before his death on Wednesday, Stremousov denounced the so-called Ukrainian “Nazis” and claimed the Russian military was in “full control” of the south.
He had been sanctioned by both the US and the European Union and was wanted for treason by the Ukrainian police. He was a father of five children, with a sixth on the way.
Few details about the fatal accident have been made available, but there have been several assassinations and attempted killings of top Russian-appointed leaders in occupied Ukraine since the start of the war, according to The Moscow Times.
His death comes as Ukrainian forces advance on Kherson — forcing Russia to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people and send troops retreating to the east of the Dnipro River in a major victory for Ukraine.
With Post wires.