The Russian-backed leader of a town in Ukraine’s occupied Kherson region was wounded in an apparent assassination attempt Wednesday as Ukrainians up the stakes in their fight against the new leadership.
Yury Turulev, the self-proclaimed head of the “new” administration of Chornobayivka, suffered minor shrapnel wounds after the car he was traveling in on his way to work struck an “explosive device” that had been planted near a busy intersection, Russia’s RIA Novosti reported.
Turulev was quoted in Russian media reports saying everyone in the vehicle had survived and that “we won’t be scared by this.”
The apparent assassination attempt comes just over two weeks since Ukraine’s Security Service publicly named and shamed Turulev for collaborating with the area’s new Russian occupiers.
Using a term to describe regional leaders in Nazi Germany, the Security Service announced on June 4 that Turulev could face up to 10 years in prison for collaborating with the enemy.
“The gauleiter is not just a supporter of the ‘Russian world,’ but he also persecutes pro-Ukrainian residents of the community and illegally disposes of communal property,” the agency said at the time.
While Russia has tightened its grip on the Kherson region since declaring a full takeover in early March—even declaring that all babies born after the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 would automatically get Russian citizenship—ordinary Ukrainian residents have refused to surrender quietly.
Flyers have routinely popped up in the city showing residents “instructions” on how to attack the Russian occupiers, while others have featured direct threats against Russian troops controlling the city, such as, “Get ready, we know all your patrol routes.”
Similar trends have been reported in other cities taken over by Russian forces, where ordinary citizens have used poisoned food and even arson to hit back at the occupying authorities.
Even as reports of Turulev’s near-assassination broke Wednesday, a video began circulating on pro-Ukrainian social media channels that showed a masked man alongside two kneeling, bound men he identified as Russian soldiers.
After holding up what appeared to be two Russian passports belonging to the men, he declared that “the Kherson partisans are continuing their fight against the Rashists,” using a popular play on the word “fascists” to describe Russian occupiers.
“Very soon, a Ukrainian night will set for you, a night of retribution for Bucha, for Irpen, for Hostomel, for Mariupol, and for all of the Donbass, you don’t stand a chance.”
The claims in the video could not be immediately verified, and neither Russian nor Ukrainian authorities have confirmed reports of pro-Ukrainian partisan groups taking Russian prisoners.