Pro-Russian Ukrainian politician Oleg Tsaryov in intensive care after being shot

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Former Ukrainian lawmaker Oleg Tsaryov, a pro-Russian figure who was reported to have been lined up by Moscow to lead a puppet administration in Kyiv after Russia’s invasion, is in intensive care after being shot, a Russian official said on Friday.

The official, Vladimir Rogov, did not say where the shooting had taken place.

“Oleg’s condition is very serious. He is currently in intensive care,” said Rogov, a senior Russian-installed official in southern Ukraine.

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“Oleg was shot,” he said on Telegram, asking Orthodox Christian believers to pray for Tsaryov.

Sources told Reuters last year that Russia had been lining up Tsaryov to head a puppet government in Kyiv after Moscow’s forces invaded on February 24, 2022.

Tsaryov himself dismissed that possibility when the Financial Times reported it, citing US intelligence, ahead of the invasion. He told the FT at the time that the idea was “pretty funny” because he was just running a wellness business in Crimea and was “not important enough.”

Previously Tsaryov had been a member of the Ukrainian parliament and then speaker of the parliament of “Novorossiya” an entity formed after Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine broke away in 2014 and began fighting Ukrainian forces.

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