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.