Ukraine Faces Off With Russia In Kherson Oblast, Whose Capital Fell Early In War Civilian homes in the village of Pervomayske are totally destroyed from near daily enemy shelling and missile attacks since Russian forces retreated from the area two weeks earlier in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, 22 July 2022. The Mykolaiv region is facing increased missile attacks and shelling as Russian forces bolster their military presence in the neighbouring Kherson region, which experts believe is in preparation to retake land lost to Ukrainian forces. Mykolaiv Ukraine PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxFRA Copyright: xMaciekxMusialekx originalFilename: musialek-ukrainef220722_npKqe.jpg

The head of the military administration deployed by Russia in the occupied southern Ukrainian region of Cherson, Volodymyr Saldo, is in an artificial coma in an intensive care unit in Moscow with symptoms of poisoning.

“Today he was flown from Crimea to Moscow in an artificial coma on a special plane,” reported the Russian Telegram channel Baza on Saturday. His condition is considered critical, poisoning is mentioned as a possible cause.

The 66-year-old Saldo was born in Ukraine and was already politically active before the Russian invasion. He was mayor of Cherson from 2002 to 2012, after which he sat in parliament for ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s party until 2014.

In 2015 he lost the election for mayor of Kherson. Shortly after the occupation of large parts of southern Ukraine, Saldo was then installed by the Russians as head of the military administration in Kherson.

Saldo is in Moscow’s Sklifosovsky Institute for Emergency Medicine – a special clinic that also specializes in poisoning. He was initially hospitalized with suspected heart attack and stroke, but the suspicion was not confirmed.

Instead, the doctors expressed the suspicion that he had been poisoned. His health deteriorated rapidly over time, so he was put into a coma.