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One of Vladimir Putin's invasion leaders has been killed in a car explosion in a fresh blow to Russia's war advances.
Since the invasion on February 24, Andrii Shtepa was put in place by the Kremlin as leader of the Ukrainian village of Liubymivka, 64 miles east of Kherson Oblast.
According to Kremlin-aligned news outlet TASS, emergency services confirmed today (Thursday, December 22) that Shtepa was blown inside a car at the occupied city of Kakhovka, Ukrainska Pravda reports.
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The Russian mouth-piece claims that the so-called head of Russian occupation authorities of the settlement of Lyubymivk, burned alive in a car that erupted into a deadly inferno.
Shtepa's appointment as puppet leader coincided with the start of terror suffered by residents in the village of Vasylivka, according to local newspaper Most.
Russian soldiers conducted "searches", severely beat several local residents and caused the disappearance of two men.
Former military accountant, Serhii Myroshnyk told Most in July that he suffered at the hands of Russian invaders who beat him badly, tied him up and took him away in an unknown direction.
He also had his entire home turned upside down during an apparent search.
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On July 18, Shtepa was appointed as the governor of the Liubymivka hromada having lived in the area for years.
A witness told Most: "It looked like in the movies about the atrocities of the Nazis during the Second World War. The Russian occupiers kicked in the doors, cursed, severely beat our men, turned everything in the houses upside down.
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"In general, a lot of people were affected – they visited many houses. Many things disappeared after them. Also, the occupiers looked at all the phones and, as it seemed to us, copied their contents.
"And this whole process was 'directed' by the newly appointed 'head of the community' Andrii Shtepa.
They added: "He had long-standing conflicts with many locals. It was he who showed the occupiers who lived where and said that he would take revenge on everyone."
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- Vladimir Putin
- Russia Ukraine war
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