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A Russian former submarine captain who was allegedly responsible for a missile strike that killed 27 Ukrainians has been gunned down by an assassin.
Stanislav Rzhitsky, 42, was shot dead while jogging in the Russian city of Krasnodar.
Russian investigators reckon the assassination was carefully planned, with a map showing his usual running route shared on the Strava app.
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They also think the attack was linked to the upcoming one-year anniversary of the Kalibr missile strike on Ukrainian city Vinnytsia, which he is suspected of being responsible for.
Among the 27 victims of the submarine missile bombardment was Liza Dmitrieva, four. Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska knew the little girl from the filming of an earlier Christmas video. She had Down’s syndrome and arthritis in one of her legs.
She was in her pushchair alongside mum Irina when the missile strike took place. Irina survived but suffered horrific injuries.
Ex-captain Rzhitsky had been working as a mobilisation official for Vladimir Putin prior to his death. He was shot four times as he ran near the Olympus Arena in Krasnodar.
He had gunshot wounds in his back and chest. Two 9mm bullets were found in his body.
According to news outlet Mash, authorities don't think robbery was the motive as his watch and headphones were found at the scene.
The murder wasn't caught on CCTV but law enforcement have released an image of the man they believe was ordered to kill Rzhitsky as revenge for the missile attack.
Baza reported he was a "middle-aged man in a blue cap".
The ex-mayor of Krasnodar, Evgeny Pervyshov, confirmed Rzhitsky's death. He said: "I knew him as the commander of the Krasnodar submarine.
"He was a true patriot, a good man and a loving father."
It remains unclear whether Rzhitsky was still the captain of the submarine when the attack on Vinnytsia was launched.
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- Russia Ukraine war
- Vladimir Putin
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