Ukrainian military intelligence claimed responsibility for targeting the Kremlin-installed official who was arranging Russian presidential elections in the temporarily occupied Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia region, on Wednesday.

On Telegram, Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) wrote that on Wednesday, March 6, “in the temporarily occupied Berdyansk, a collaborator, Svitlana Samoilenko, who organized Putin’s pseudo-elections in the occupied territories of the Zaporizhzhia region, was liquidated.”

A number of Russian-installed officials have been targeted in the occupied territories since Moscow launched its full-scale military operation in Ukraine two years ago.

Wednesday’s attack comes ahead of presidential elections in Russia later this month that will be held in the five Ukrainian regions that the Kremlin claims to have annexed.

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According to the HUR, the collaborator Svitlana Samoilenko voluntarily cooperated with the Kremlin after the city’s takeover in 2022 and was appointed to a position in the Russian occupation administration.

“The so-called military commandant of Berdyansk, Col. Bardin of the Russian Armed Forces, appointed Svitlana Samoilenko to the position of ‘Deputy Mayor for Economics, Agriculture and Finance,’” the HUR said.

The head of the Berdyansk City Military Administration, Victoria Galitsyna, posted a video on Telegram she said is of Samoilenko’s car after it was blown up in occupied Berdyansk.

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Reports say that after Samoilenko got into her car, an explosive device went off and she died in the hospital from her injuries.

According to the HUR, Samoilenko’s husband and adult son are also alleged to serve the Russians.

HUR said that to serve Moscow, Samoilenko intimidated and terrorized Berdiansk residents, forcing them to participate in the illegal fake vote in the Russian presidential election.

The HUR Telegram post said that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies opened a criminal investigation into Svitlana Samoilenko’s cooperation with the Russian occupation army under the article on collaboration.

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