Russia-Appointed Deputy Mayor Of Ukrainian Town Detained On Criminal Charges

By RFE/RL's Russian Service

The Moscow-appointed deputy mayor of the occupied Ukrainian city of Nova Kakhovka, Vitaliy Efymenko, has been detained on criminal charges.

Russia-imposed authorities in the city in Ukraine's southeastern region of Kherson said on August 8 that they confiscated illegal weapons and tens of millions of rubles from Efymenko, who is also a local businessman.

According to the so-called Temporary Directorate of the Russian Interior Ministry in the region, Efymenko is suspected of being a member of a gang that conducted at least two attacks against two local businessmen in recent weeks.

After Russia occupied the Kherson region in the first days of its ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine launched in late February, he was appointed by occupying forces as Nova Kakhovka's first deputy mayor.

Last week, Efymenko survived an apparent car-bomb assassination attempt.

Ukrainian media reports cited sources at the time as saying that Efymenko was a criminal kingpin.

On August 6, another deputy mayor of Nova Kakhovka, Vitaliy Hura, was shot dead by an unidentified assailant while leaving his home.

On August 5, Russian news agencies reported that the Russia-appointed governor of the Kherson region, Volodymyr Saldo, had been hospitalized. Some reports said then that he may have been poisoned.

On June 24, a car bomb in Kherson killed the Russia-appointed head of the directorate for youth policies at the Kherson region's administration, Dmytro Savluchenko.

With reporting by Kommersant