Pro-Russian official reveals plan to fake death, escape assassination

Vitaly Gura, a pro-Moscow official in Novaya Kakhovka, said Russian security had spread the news that he was killed in response to a Ukrainian assassination plan.

“Russian law enforcement agencies approached me in early August, saying there was an assassination plot against me. They provided audio recordings to prove it,” said Vitaly Gura, Russia’s appointed leader. in the town of Novaya Kakhovka in Kherson province, southern Ukraine, said in a television interview on September 12.

The statement came more than a month after local media reported that Vitaly Gura had died in hospital following the August 6 assassination. Some sources earlier said that he was taken to hospital in critical condition after being hit several times by pistols and submachine guns outside his home.

Vitaly Gura at the safe shelter provided by the FSB.  Photo: RT.

Vitaly Gura at the safe shelter provided by the FSB. Image: RT.

Gura is being protected by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and is sheltering in a safe place. “I want to say that I will come back and continue working. I am not afraid,” he added.

Russian television reported that a fake assassination was also carried out to save the life of Sergey Tomka, deputy commander of Novaya Kakhovka police.

Accordingly, the operation began in mid-June when a suspect detonated a grenade in a cafe near the Novaya Kakhovka town hall. The incident caused no casualties, the suspect was arrested and agreed to cooperate with Russian counterintelligence. This person admitted to communicating with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) through an officer named Ilya Bondarchuk, in which Ukrainian intelligence offered a reward for the assassination of pro-Russian officials in Novaya Kakhovka.

Information about two successful assassinations led Bondarchuk to reveal data on a group of Ukrainian intelligence agents preparing to attack the Crimean peninsula. Russian security said all members of the reconnaissance team were arrested, while Bondarchuk was still operating in areas controlled by Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials have not commented on the report.

Several Russian-appointed officials in Kherson province have been injured or killed in assassination attempts over the past several months. In mid-June, the head of the Kherson provincial detention center Yevgeny Sobolev was injured when a homemade bomb exploded near his car.

Another explosion occurred on June 22 on the route of the leader of the military-civilian government in the Chernobaevka region Yuri Turulev, leaving the official with minor injuries. Two days later, another Russian-appointed Kherson provincial government official, Dmitry Savluchenko, was killed in a car bomb attack.

Russia has controlled Kherson province since March and has taken many steps to strengthen its presence, such as Russian television coverage, making the ruble official currency and simplifying the naturalization process for residents.

Vu Anh (Theo RT, Reuters)

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