A Ukrainian official in the city of Nikopol in Ukraine’s southeastern Dnipropetrovsk region was killed on Thursday when the car he was driving came under fire, the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office has announced.
Vitalyi Zhuravlev, the deputy mayor of Nikopol, died on the scene after multiple gunmen fired at his car, setting the vehicle on fire, local police said. Before being appointed deputy mayor of Nikopol in September 2021, Zhuravlev headed the local organised crime fighting unit.
The Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office has opened a murder investigation and is currently considering possible motives for Zhuravlev’s murder. Independent daily newspaper Ukrainska Pravda cited a source that said the murder may have been tied to Zhuravlev’s conflict with an organised crime group.
Due to its location relatively near to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the Russian-occupied city of Enerhodar, Nikopol, which is still under Kyiv’s control, is regularly subjected to Russian attacks. However, Ukrainian investigators did not mention a possible link between the killing and the Russian army.