4 Russian Commanders Reportedly Killed In 4 Days in Ukraine

4 Russian Commanders Reportedly Killed In 4 Days in Ukraine
Another Russian general killed by Ukrainian forces

International Military - Vladimir Putin's troops have been hit again after returning a troop commander was killed in Ukraine, as claimed by Kiev. Colonel Ruslan Shirin, who was chief of staff for the 336th Naval Infantry Brigade of the Baltic Fleet, was killed in action.

This was revealed by an officer of the Ukrainian armed forces, Anatoliy Stefan, and other social media posts. Stefan tweeted that Shirin was "officially denazified and demilitarized," without specifying where or how he died. The news was also tweeted by military analyst Rob Lee.

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A post on the VKontakte page for the Russian Navy said Shirin had "heroically died" while performing "her duties during a special military operation of the Russian armed forces." Shirin has been posthumously awarded the Order of Courage, a state honor initiated by a presidential decree in 1994, as quoted from Newsweek, Thursday (9/6/2022).

Reports of his death have not been confirmed by Russia's Ministry of Defence, which did not reply to Newsweek's request for comment before publication. If verified, it would increase the number of senior Russian officers missing from Russian forces since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

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According to one online tally, four Russian officers with the rank of lieutenant colonel or higher were reported killed in the four days between June 4 and 8. On Tuesday, it was reported that Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Nigmatullin, 46, an artillery commander from the city of Yekaterinburg, had died on May 31, although there were no details on the circumstances of his death.

Also this week, it was revealed that Major General Roman Kutuzov and Lieutenant General Roman Berdnikov, were reportedly killed by Ukrainian artillery in the Donbas region in the east of the country, where most of the fighting was concentrated. Kutuzov, who commanded Russia's 5th Combined Army, is said to have been killed while leading an attack on the Ukrainian settlement of Donbas. Meanwhile, Berdnikov's death was reported by news outlet Volya Media.

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There are no exact statistics on the number of deaths of Russian soldiers or officers, which Moscow rarely acknowledges officially. Russian state television reporter Alexander Sladkov said Kutuzov was the fourth general to be killed in Ukraine.

According to BBC.com, the Kremlin itself has confirmed just three, while some Western media sources put the number at 12, based on a different classification of officers in Russian uniform. Adding to the uncertainty about how many top Russian military figures were actually killed, three generals whom Ukrainian forces claimed had died were later reported to be alive.

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Analysts say Russian commanders have been pushed forward to help push the invasion. The New York Times reported last month that the United States had provided intelligence to Ukraine to target generals who were later assassinated. Moscow has not updated its official figures for casualties in Ukraine since March 25, when it said 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed. The Ukrainian armed forces say nearly 31,000 Russian soldiers were killed. 

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