A RUSSIAN judge who sentenced Brits to death in Ukraine is said to be in a critical condition after being shot in an assassination attempt.

Alexander Nikulin is "fighting for his life" after being shot in Vuhlehirsk, eastern Ukraine, according to Russia's news agency, Tass.



Cops said the gunmen were still on the loose while Putin goon and leader of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, said the judge was targeted for "sentencing Nazi criminals".

The Nazi label is slapped on any Ukrainian who opposes Russian rule and was used by Putin to justify his senseless invasion in February.

On Telegram, Pushilin wrote: "There was attempt with the use of firearms on a judge of the Supreme Court of the Donetsk Republic Alexander Nikulin.

"The Ukrainian regime continues to show its vile terrorist methods. His condition is assessed by doctors to be stable but serious."

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Brit war heroes Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, were convicted by Nikulin in June of being "mercenaries" with Ukrainian troops and sentenced the two to death.

The sentences were handed down in a Kangaroo court trial that lasted no more than three days in which five "witnesses" in the case simply failed to appear.

The Brits were released in September through an agreement brokered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Five Brits, two Americans, one Swede, a Croat and a Moroccan were flown to Riyadh and then sent back home.

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It comes as Russia's hardest football ultra was killed in Ukraine, earning him a hero's send off from fans.

Several red flares were lit by supporters of CSKA Moscow fan Maxim Shmanin, 44, at his funeral in the region around Russia’s capital.

The ultra hooligan had been a fighter in the Espanyola volunteer unit, part of the Vostok battalion of the pro-Putin Donetsk People’s Republic forces.

He was killed in the Donetsk region occupied by forces loyal to President Vladimir Putin.

The Espanyola unit contains many football fan volunteers including hooligans, according to reports.

And just this week, Russian troops appear to be fleeing the key Ukrainian city of Kherson in their thousands.

A Russian flag was removed from an administrative building while troops have been sent fleeing over the Dnipro river – in a major blow to Putin's already shambolic invasion.

The Russian flag was removed in the occupied city this morning, signalling a retreat by Putin's forces.

The image was shared by a pro-Kremlin Telegram channel with the caption: "I drove up to the building of the former government of the Kherson region; I confirm that there is no [Russian] flag over it."

However, the reporter who shared the image claimed the flags on other nearby buildings still remained.

It came after a chilling warning by a senior European official that the Russian army should "retreat or die".

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They told the Washington Examiner: "They are creating circumstances where Russians have two options: either to retreat or to die because they don't have additional equipment."

Russian authorities in Kherson have been urging its citizens to flee since mid-October but a Russian-appointed official has now said people should "evacuate as quickly as possible" – as troops begin fleeing over the Dnipro river.

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