Private Dmitry Perov was armed with grenades and a loaded automatic rifle, according to Russian channel Mash, and was killed when he resisted arrest.
Wanted for abandoning his unit
The government announcement claimed that Perov had been wanted for "unauthorized abandonment of a military unit." According to Russian state media outlet TASS, Perov was caught in the village of Novouglyanka.
The local government assured that there was no threat to residents and that authorities were in control of the situation.
RIA said that Perov had been on the run in the Voronezh oblast where he had been seen visiting his mother.
Desertion of soldiers has been a challenge faced by the Russian military since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24. Poor conditions, troubled logistics and military losses have contributed to low morale among troops.
The issue of morale has been exacerbated by hundreds of thousands of reservists being called up after President Vladimir Putin's announcement of a partial mobilization in September.
In November, the UK Defense Ministry reported that it was likely that the Kremlin was deploying rearguard units to prevent desertion on the Ukrainian battlefield.
"These units threaten to shoot their own retreating soldiers in order to compel offensives and have been used in previous conflicts by Russian forces," said the UK Defense Ministry in a November 4 intelligence update. "Recently, Russian generals likely wanted their commanders to use weapons against deserters, including possibly authorizing shooting to kill such defaulters after a warning had been given."
Following Putin's announcement of mass mobilization, tens of thousands of Russian citizens fled or attempted to flee the country and escape the draft. Ukrainian intelligence has warned of another upcoming mass mobilization that could see even more Russian citizens drafted for the ongoing war.
The Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.