The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine says another Russian general, Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev, was killed in an attack near the southern city of Kherson.
Rezantsev was the commander of the 49th Combined Army of Russia.
A Western official said it was the seventh russian general to die in Ukraine and the second lieutenant general – the highest-ranking officer – who supposedly dies in the war.
In a conversation intercepted by the Ukrainian military, a Russian soldier complained that Rezantsev had claimed that the war would be over in a matter of hoursjust four days after it started.
Ukrainian media reported on Friday that the general died at the Ukrainian airbase. Chornobaivkanear the city of Kherson, which is being used by Russia as a command post and has been attacked by the Ukrainian army on several occasions.
Another lieutenant general, Andrei Mordvichev, was reportedly killed in an attack by Ukrainian forces on the same base.
Kherson was the first ukrainian city to be occupied by Russian forces, although there are reports of daily protests against the Russian occupation taking place there.
- Kherson residents challenge Russian rule over Ukrainian city with protests
Although Russia has confirmed the death of only one general, kyiv and Western officials believe as many as seven have been killed in combat since the invasion of the country began.
However, the death of Major General Magomed Tushayev of the Chechen National Guard has been questioned.
It is unusual for senior Russian officers to be so close to the battlefield. and some Western agents believe they have been forced to move to the front lines to deal with the allegedly low morale of Russian troops.
Unexpectedly robust Ukrainian resistance, apparently poor Russian equipment, and a high death toll of Russian soldiers are believed to be contributing to low morale.
Western specialists also believe that Russian forces rely in part on open communication systems, such as cell phones and analog radios, which are easy to intercept and they could reveal the location of high-ranking officials.
A person within the inner circle of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the Wall Street Journal that Ukraine had a military intelligence team dedicated to targeting Russian officers.
On Friday, a Western official reported that a Russian colonel had been deliberately run over and killed by his own men, as a result of the scale of the losses suffered by his brigade.
The death of the commander of the 37th motorized rifle brigade “gives an idea of some of the moral challenges Russian forces are facing,” the agent said.
Until now, Vladimir Putin he has only referred to the death of one general, believed to be Major General Andrey Sukhovetsky, in a speech shortly after the start of the war.
Russia says 1,351 soldiers have been killed since the war in Ukraine began. Officials in kyiv and Western countries say the figure is much higher.
Which Russian generals does Ukraine claim to have killed?
Which Russian generals does Ukraine claim to have killed?
YAKOV REZANTSEV – Commander of the Russian 49th Combined Army
Yakov Rezantsev was promoted to lieutenant general last year. It is said that he participated in the Russian military operation in Syria.
ANDREI MORDICHEV – commander of the Russian 8th Combined Army
Andrei Mordvichev was killed in an attack on the Chornobaivka air base near Kherson, according to Ukrainian officials.
His death was reported on March 18.
OLEG MITYAEV – commander of the 150th motorized rifle division
Major General Oleg Mityaev was reportedly killed somewhere near Mariupol, a city in southeastern Ukraine that has seen some of the heaviest fighting to date.
The nationalist Azov regiment (the so-called Azov Battaliona unit made up of extreme right-wingers, with links to extremists across Europe) claims to have killed him.
Mityaev was commander of the Russian Army’s 150th Motorized Rifle Division, a relatively new unit formed in 2016, based in the Rostov region near the Ukrainian border.
Ukraine claims the Russian unit was created to take part in the conflict in separatist-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine, though Russia denies its army was involved in fighting there.
ANDREI KOLESNIKOV – commander of the Russian 29th Combined Army
Major General Andrei Kolesnikov of the Combined 29th Army was killed in action on March 11, according to official Ukrainian sources.
The circumstances of his death were not described.
After Kolesnikov became the third Russian general allegedly killed in Ukraine, a Western official told Press Association that the Russian military may be suffering from low morale, which is why high-ranking military officers are moving closer to the front line.
VITALY GERAIMOV – chief of staff of the Russian 41st Combined Army
Maj. Gen. Vitaly Gerasimov, chief of staff of Russia’s 41st Combined Army, was killed on March 7 outside the eastern city of Kharkiv, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
Kharkiv, near the Russian border, has come under sustained attack by Russian forces.
Ukraine’s military released a recording of what it said were two Russian security service officials discussing Gerasimov’s death and complaining that their secure communication networks were no longer working in Ukraine.
Gerasimov was involved in the second Chechen war, the Russian military operation in Syria, and the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
ANDREY SURKHOVETSKY – deputy commander of the Russian 41st Combined Army
Major General Andrey Sukhovetsky, deputy commander of the same unit as Gerasimov, was shot by a sniper on March 3.
Like Gerasimov, Sukhovetsky was part of Russia’s military operations in Crimea and Syria.
Unlike the other generals, Sukhovetsky’s death was reported in the Russian media and Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed in a speech that a general had been killed in Ukraine.