The pro-Russian mayor of a city in eastern Ukraine who cheered and supported President Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine was found "shot dead," after being kidnapped from his home, according to reports. Vlodymyr Struk, of Kreminna in Luhansk, was founded murdered on Tuesday after being "abducted from his home."
A grisly photograph of his slain body shows Struk brutally tortured before being shot dead. He had suffered a "gunshot wound to the heart." His wife later confirmed that Struk was shot in his heart after being kidnapped from his home and his body remained on the street for hours. It is believed that he was killed by angry Ukrainian civilians before of being pro-Russian.
Struk was a "Luhansk People's Republic supporter," according to Anton Gerashchenko, the adviser for Interior Minister of Ukraine. Announcing the news on Facebook he wrote that Struk was a "Luhansk People's Republic supporter" (LPR) who aggressively pursued a "pro-Russian position" in the last week by "communicating with the Russian Federation."
Struk, according to Gerashchenko, was "judged by the court of the people's tribunal" and is a "traitor."
He further stated that since Moscow-backed separatists took control of the southeastern Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk - collectively known as Donbas - Ukraine has been unable to "do anything with Struk for the previous eight years."
It is not known how and when Struk was kidnapped and killed. However, the image of his dead body indicated that he was tortured and beaten before he was killed. His body looked bruised and reports say that he was dragged on the streets before being shot dead in his heart.
His body was then dumped on the street where it remained for hours. It is still unclear if his body was recovered and if recovered what happened after that. The Ukraine government considers Struk as a traitor.
Geraschenko wrote on his Facebook that Struk was no less than a traitor and he was punished for betraying the people of Ukraine. "One traitor of Ukraine became less! Vladimir Struk, the former deputy of the Luhansk Regional Council, the head of the Kreminetsk OTG, was found killed," he wrote.
"In 2014 he was an active supporter of the LPR. He then left for a part of the Luhansk region free from temporary occupation [and was] twice elected the head of KreminetskoÃ OTG.
"In the last week, he actively took a Russian position, campaigning OTG deputies to communicate with the Russian Federation and the LNR - gathering deputies on this matter. On March 1 [there] was a statement from his wife that he was kidnapped [from persons] unknown in camouflage form. The cause of death is a fiery injury to the heart area."
"The whole state apparatus of Ukraine, SBU, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Prosecutor's Office and courts couldn't do anything with the open separatist Strukom for eight years because he had a lot of money. Most likely support from the Russian Federation," he added.
"But when the Russian troops approached 15km to the Kreminny, Vladimir Struk was judged by the court of the people's tribunal. Judging by all, [he was] shot by unknown patriots as a traitor to the laws of military time."