A Ukrainian politician who was working with the Russian occupation government was found murdered in his home over the weekend.
Oleksiy Kovalev, a former member of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s political party, was found dead in his home near Kherson Sunday with a gunshot wound to the head, the Kyiv Post reported Monday.
His wife was also reportedly stabbed in the neck, and initial reports indicated she succumbed to her wounds.
Kovalev was found beside a shotgun registered in his name.
Kovalev had served in the Russian occupation government in Kherson as the deputy head of the occupation government since July.
Ukrainska Pravda reported in June that Kovalev had attended a meeting between area farmers and Russian officials.
The paper reported that Kovalev was supportive of Russian efforts to annex the Kherson province.
“People left with the realization that Russia hears and understands us,” he said of the June meeting, according to Ukrainska Pravda.
“In addition to agrarian issues, the status of the Kherson region was also discussed – I will repeat that Russia is forever and the closest possible integration with Russia is already underway,” he said.
The meeting led to reports that Kovalev — who had already been tossed from Zelensky’s Servant of the People party in May — was being investigated on treason charges.
Kovalev narrowly escaped an attempt on his life later that month, when Ukrainian military intelligence said it blew up the former official’s car.
“I can confirm that a certain action was taken,” Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukrainian military intelligence, said in a televised interview at the time. “The car was definitely blown up.”
After Kovalev’s body was discovered Sunday, a Ukrainian journalist working in the region said the occupation government was cracking down on Ukrainians in Kherson.
“After the liquidation of the Kherson collaborator Oleksiy Kovalev in the city of Gola Prystan, where the traitor was shot yesterday, the occupiers began intensive searches and document checks,” Andrei Tsaplienko said on Telegram. “Be careful, Ukrainians.”