Russia to probe shooting death of top official in Ukraine

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(Reuters) - Russian officials said on Monday they would probe the shooting of a top agriculture official in southern Ukraine, the latest in a series of apparent assassinations of Russian-backed officials in occupied areas.

Oleksiy Kovalyov, deputy chairman for agriculture in the military-civil administration of the Kherson region, died of a gunshot wound at his residence on Sunday.

"A girl who lived with the deceased also fell victim to the attackers," the investigative committee of the Russian Federation said on Telegram. The committee would investigate the case as a crime and identify the attackers, it added.

The case followed a report by Russian-installed officials that a deputy chief of traffic police in the southern Ukrainian city of Berdyansk died in hospital on Friday after being wounded in a bomb blast.

Last month President Volodymyr Zelenskiy removed his spy chief and state prosecutor general, citing dozens of cases of collaboration with Russia by officials in their agencies.

(Reporting by Elaine Monaghan, editing by David Ljunggren and Sandra Maler)