Mystery as Putin’s puppet leader in breakaway region found dead with ‘stab or gunshot wounds’ by his wife at home

VLADIMIR Putin’s puppet leader in a Moldovan breakaway region has been found dead by his wife.

Oleg Khorzhan, 47, was found at his home in Transnistria, with reports suggesting he was stabbed or shot.

East2WestOleg Khorzhan, 47, was found dead by his wife[/caption]

East2WestKhorzhan was the leader of the Communist Party in Transnistria[/caption]

Khorzhan was the leader of the Communist Party in Transnistria – a state under the guard of 1,500 Russian army “peacekeepers”.

The pro-Russian returned to politics with Moscow’s backing after being given a four-year jail term for violence against a government official.

He was released eight months ago and known as a “Moscow proxy”. 

Khorzhan insisted the region – self-governing since the end of Soviet times – survived “only thanks to the help of Russia“.

Russia’s Communist Party leader called for an urgent investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

Gennady Zyuganov said: “Oleg Khorzhan has died… killed at home. We demand an investigation be immediately begun.”

Pridnestrovskiy Lesnik Telegram channel said: “Khorzhan’s wife found his corpse near a safe that was left open in one of the rooms of his house. 

“The safe was empty. Did they open the safe to make it look like the murder was committed for the sake of robbery? That would be absurd.”

Earlier this year opposition leader Khorzhan visited Moscow.

He returned saying he had been promised “maximum support for our republic on the part of Russia” by top pro-Putin politicians.

Earlier this year, Transnistria authorities claimed to have stopped an assassination attempt on the region’s president – Vadim Krasnoselsky, which they alleged was orchestrated by the secret service in Ukraine.

Ukraine denied the accusation, calling it “a provocation orchestrated by the Kremlin”.

Moldova has accused Russia of using the Transnistria breakaway state in its bid to destabilise the country.

Some experts believe Putin is eyeing up an invasion of Moldova – a former part of the old Soviet Union – as he seeks to build a new empire.

It comes after a Russian naval captain was shot dead after a hitman tracked him down using a popular fitness app.

Stanislav Rzhitsky – who had recently worked as a mobilisation official for Putin’s war against Ukraine – was shot four times as he ran near the Olympus Arena in Krasnodar city.

He was struck in the back and chest, with seven bullets fired from a Makarov pistol.

Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence confirmed Rzytskyi had been killed – fuelling suspicion of a revenge attack.

AFPSome experts believe Putin is eyeing up an invasion of Moldova – a former part of the old Soviet Union – as he seeks to build a new empire[/caption]

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