Ukraine Kills 9th High-Profile Russian Colonel As Putin Flails


Russian Colonel Alexander Bespalov has become one of the latest high-ranking Russian military officers to be killed in Ukraine as Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of the country unfolds. Bespalov was identified by The Daily Mail as the ninth colonel on Russia’s side to have been killed in fighting across Ukraine, and the publication said this weekend a funeral was held for Bespalov in the Russian city of Ozersk on Friday. Before his death, Bespalov apparently commanded Russia’s 59th Guards Tank Regiment, one of the many Russian military units to have entered Ukraine since fighting started. Russian losses in Ukraine have also included over half a dozen generals, along with what are believed to be thousands upon thousands of individual soldiers and substantial quantities of military equipment.

According to The Daily Mail, “Tributes to [Bespalov] were shared with the announcement that was posted on local message board called ‘Overheard Novogorny’ – a small town near Ozersk. The announcement of his funeral has since been deleted. Ozersk is a closed Russian city, meaning travel in and out is heavily restricted. Code-named City 40, Ozersk was the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme after World War Two.” One of the tributes came from a fellow officer, who said they “did not know and did not meet a more worthy person who had the right to call himself an officer than my first commander Alexander Bespalov, who became my friend, whose family I was closely acquainted with.” In reality, of course, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has already culminated in the deaths of thousands of civilians across the targeted country, including some who were tortured. In Mariupol, local officials recently said they feared the true death toll could reach into the tens of thousands, and mobile crematoriums run by Russian personnel recently began operating there.

Russian ground forces were recently reported to have been driven from areas including the administrative district around the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, although threats there are continuing alongside those elsewhere in the country. Over a dozen Russian sabotage and reconnaissance groups targeting Kyiv were recently caught, and the threat of airstrikes also remains. Russian troops are further focusing their aggression in the southern and eastern portions of Ukraine; in remarks summarized by The Kyiv Independent this Friday, Luhansk-area governor Serhiy Haidai indicated that Russian troops were “finishing preparations” for battle in the Donbas region. Similarly, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba recently said he expected imminent hostilities in the Donbas area to be on a scale similar to World War II, involving thousands of pieces of equipment such as tanks and aircraft.

“Now is no time for complacency,” President Joe Biden remarked this week as the U.S. continues to provide defense assistance to the Ukrainian people. “The Russian military may have failed in its objective of capturing Kyiv, but it continues to inflict horrific acts of brutality on the Ukrainian people. As the Russian military repositions for the next phase of this war, I have directed my Administration to continue to spare no effort to identify and provide to the Ukrainian military the advanced weapons capabilities it needs to defend its country.”