A prominent Ukrainian grain entrepreneur and his wife were killed in Russian shelling of the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolayiv, and a presidential aide condemned “a premeditated murder.”
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They are Oleksiï Vadatoursky, 74, owner of Ukraine’s main grain logistics company Niboulon, and his wife Raïssa Vadatourska, who Ukrainian authorities said were at home at the time of the strikes.
“It’s not a coincidence, it’s a premeditated murder,” responded Telegram Mykhaïlo Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency. “The fact that the rocket hit the bedroom of her house leaves no doubt: Vadatoursky was the target.”
“He was one of the country’s most important agricultural entrepreneurs, a key figure in the region and a major employer,” Mr Podoliak said.
Oleksiï Vadatoursky, millionaire and “Hero of Ukraine”, was the 24th richest Ukrainian on Forbes magazine list in 2021. Before the war, his company exported grain to 70 countries.
Mykolayiv “today suffered heavy shelling. Probably the strongest so far” since the Russian invasion on February 24, the city’s mayor Oleksandre Senkevych wrote on Telegram in the morning.
The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office also reported two injuries in Mykolayiv and several damaged private houses, as well as a hotel, a sports complex, two schools and a car repair shop.
Other strikes hit Kharkiv (east) and Sumy (northeast) regions.
Some buildings were damaged in “a series of explosions” in Kharkiv, said the mayor of Ukraine’s second largest city, Igor Terekhov.
One person was killed and two injured in the Sumy region, which has been the target of “more than 50 attacks” in the past 24 hours, according to Governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, where Moscow focuses the bulk of its attacks, said three civilians were killed and eight wounded on Saturday.
On Saturday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the population to evacuate the Donetsk region in the east of the country, whose cities have been the target of deadly bombardments, in order to escape “Russian terror”.
“Hundreds of thousands of people and children are still in the areas of fierce fighting in the Donetsk region (…) The more people leave the Donetsk region now, the fewer the Russian army will kill,” he said, assuring that a government decision on the ” Forced evacuation” of the region had been taken.