TWO of Vladimir Putin’s top officials in occupied Ukraine have been killed in explosions.
An official organising a bogus referendum on joining Russia and the prosecutor of a breakaway pro-Moscow region, are the latest officials to be killed in a suspected Ukrainian resistance hits.
Lyudmila Boyko headed the election commission in the Zaporizhzhia region, and had been preparing to go along with Kremlin plans for a poll.
She died alongside her husband, Oleg Boyko, 46, who was also a senior local official and they were killed near their garage.
Meanwhile General Prosecutor of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic Sergey Gorenk, 40, was killed in an explosion in his office alongside his 44-year-old deputy Yekaterina Steglenko.
Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Russian Investigative Committee, accused what it called the “criminal” government in Kyiv for the “monstrous crime”.
The Putin ally added that a criminal case has been opened into the two killings.
Recent weeks have seen an upsurge in targeted assassinations of officials who have been shot, blown up and poisoned for working with the hated invaders.
A top pro-Putin official in occupied Ukraine was killed in a car bomb as he went to pick up his daughter from nursery school.
Ivan Sushko, 40 was killed when an explosion ripped apart his car, which was captured on CCTV.
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Sushko – who was married with a daughter – was an official in occupied Zaporizhzhia region
Askyar Laishev, who worked for Ukraine’s secret service before swapping sides in 2014, was wiped out in a car bomb blast in Luhansk earlier this month.
Assassins are also picking off Putin allies in daring missions on Russian territory.
Pro-Putin local official Volodymyr Saldo is in hospital in Moscow after being poisoned while former deputy head of the Kremlin.
And Vyacheslav Volodin, 58, narrowly escaped death when Ukrainian missiles hit a Donetsk office he was in just minutes after he left.
Shadowy guerrilla fighters, who have been training before the invasion with the help of US and UK special forces, have ruthlessly eliminated collaborators with the aim of sowing fear in their ranks.
After carrying out attacks they disappear then blend seamlessly into the local population to evade any Russian attempts to capture them and slip back to friendly territory.
They rely on secret stashes of tools of the assassins’ trade – explosives and pistols with silencers, as well as Kalashnikov rifles and grenade launchers.
“The goal is to show the occupiers that they are not at home, that they should not settle in, that they should not sleep comfortably,” one guerrilla told the New York Times.
Other recent assassinations there include that of Putin stooge Vitaly Gura, an official in the Kherson region, who was shot dead in his office.
Dmitry Savluchenko, head of the families, youth, and sports department of the Kherson military-civilian administration, was killed in a bomb.
The explosion had burned two cars and shattered the windows of a nearby four-storey house.