High-Profile Russian Commander Eliminated By Ukrainian Soldiers

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Another top Russian military leader has been killed in combat in Ukraine, where Russian forces invaded weeks ago and have been fighting ever since: Colonel Sergei Sukharev, commander of the 331st Guards Parachute Assault Regiment from Kostroma, as the Evening Standard explained his position. Notably, Russian government television back in Moscow confirmed Sukharev’s demise, even though the Putin regime has largely refused to acknowledge the realities of the war, including the casualties associated with it. Ukraine’s Centre for Strategic Communication and Information Security — a government entity whose mission includes countering false information from Russia — previously stated that the “Commander of the Kostroma Airborne Regiment, Colonel Sergei Sukharev…got lost in the ‘[military] exercises’, but returned home the right way.” Sukharev’s deputy Major Sergei Krylov was also reportedly killed in the fighting.

Russia has also been reported to have lost four generals to Ukrainian defenders, including the most recently reported one to go: Maj. Gen. Oleg Mityaev, who “died Tuesday during the storming of Mariupol, said Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko, who published a photo on Telegram of what he said was the dead officer,” according to the Associated Press. Ukrainian defenders also claim to have taken out large swathes of Russian equipment and personnel — including over 14,000 troops, although conservative U.S. estimates say put the number at over 7,000. (There has been reporting about Putin potentially accommodating for Russia’s personnel losses by bringing in a large number of fighters from Syria; some Syrians have apparently already gone to Ukraine to fight.) These losses have translated into apparent strategic difficulties for Russian troops fighting in Ukraine; they’ve been unable to encircle the capital, Kyiv, although attacks have continued there, and the Ukrainian defense continues around the country.

The citizens of Mariupol have faced devastating attacks from Russian invaders throughout this conflict — the death toll there has already surpassed 2,500, with Russian strikes having impacted access to utilities like running water and supplies like medicines. Someone associated with the medical outreach organization Doctors Without Borders said people had died in the city due to lacking the necessary medications, and it’s in Mariupol that a young child was reported to have died, alone, from dehydration. It’s also in Mariupol that a theater where hundreds had been taking shelter was recently struck — some 130 had been rescued as of Friday, but hundreds remained apparently trapped beneath the rubble. Lyudmila Denisova, Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman, said Friday that “according to our data there are still more than 1,300 people there who are in these basements, in that bomb shelter.” Mariupol was also the site of a Russian attack on a maternity ward — and in addition, it’s where Russian personnel were recently reported to have taken hundreds hostage in a hospital.