A Russian Navy captain suspected of being behind a deadly missile attack in Ukraine has been killed.
Stanislav Rzhitsky, 42, is said to have been murdered when he was shot while jogging in the Russian city of Krasnodar.
A year ago, Rzhitsky commanded a submarine that allegedly fired on the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, killing 27 people.
Among the victims of the submarine missile attack was the tragic four-year-old Liza Dmitrieva, who was in the stroller with her mother Irina and suffered terrible injuries.
Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska knew the tragic Liza, one of the three children brutally killed in the Russian attack, from filming a previous Christmas video.
Russian investigators believe Rzhitsky’s route was tracked by a jogging app he used and that the timing of the murder is linked to the upcoming first anniversary of the Kalibr chaos in Vinnytsia.
The ex-captain, who recently worked as a mobilization officer for Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, was shot dead four times while running near the Olympus Arena in the city of Krasnodar.
He was hit in the “back and chest” and died at the scene, with two 9mm bullets found in his body.
According to the Mash news agency, Rzhitsky’s watch and headphones were found at the scene, suggesting that robbery was not the motive.
The gunman shot Rzhitsky in a place with no surveillance cameras – but Russian law enforcement released a picture of a man they believe to be a suspect.
They assume that it was a revenge attack by Ukraine.
Investigators were looking for “a middle-aged man in a blue cap,” Baza media agency reported.
The Russian Investigative Committee said a murder investigation had been launched and investigators were working to “establish all the circumstances surrounding the incident, as well as the person who committed the crime and his or her motives.”
Rzhitsky was suspected of being the captain of the Krasnodar submarine when it unleashed Kalibr missile hell on Vinnytsia from the Black Sea.
The former mayor of Krasnodar Evgeny Pervyshov confirmed: “I knew him as the commander of the Krasnodar submarine.
“He was a true patriot, a good man and a loving father.”
It remains unclear if he was still the submarine’s captain in July 2022 when Vinnytsia was hit, but he is known to have fired cruise missiles at ISIS in previous Russian operations in Syria.