Health Management

Did Ukraine Kill Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Commander in a Missile Strike?


The killing of an enemy admiral in a missile strike could be a coup for any army, however the celebration in Ukraine over the loss of life of Russia’s Black Sea fleet commander might transform short-lived.

A day after saying that the admiral was amongst 34 officers killed in a strike deep behind enemy strains, Ukrainian officers acknowledged on Tuesday that there is perhaps some uncertainty.

The Ukrainian army’s assertion that it was now “clarifying” whether or not the admiral, Viktor Sokolov, had in truth been killed in an audacious strike final week in Russian-held Crimea got here after Moscow launched a video on Tuesday purporting to indicate the admiral attending a gathering earlier within the day.

Given Moscow’s lengthy historical past of refusing to acknowledge army setbacks, and the challenges of authenticating its video, it remained unsure on Tuesday whether or not Admiral Sokolov was amongst these killed within the Ukrainian assault on the headquarters of Moscow’s fleet in Sevastopol.

Russian officers haven’t commented straight on the standing of the officers, and haven’t reported any deaths on account of the assault.

Within the video clip, Sergei Okay. Shoigu, the minister of protection, will be seen discussing a drill that he stated Russia’s Pacific Fleet had accomplished a day earlier. An officer who seems to be Admiral Sokolov is seen on a video display screen, seemingly from one other location, however doesn’t communicate.

The video has been edited to indicate the fleet commander’s presence a number of occasions on the assembly, probably to supply proof that he was nonetheless alive. The date Sept. 26 is seen on the clip, and it matches the date within the video’s metadata.

For his or her half, the Ukrainians, at the same time as they acknowledged uncertainty, maintained that Admiral Sokolov was among the many casualties within the strike on Friday.

“Based on accessible sources, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet is among the many useless,” the Ukrainian army’s assertion stated. “Many haven’t but been recognized as a result of fragmentation of physique components.”

It was not recognized what Ukraine was basing its detailed claims on — each these on Tuesday and people within the days after the strike on Sevastopol.

In saying the loss of life of the fleet commander and 33 different officers on Monday, Ukraine stated 105 others had been wounded, together with two generals it stated had sustained critical accidents. It even claimed to know that the missile had hit as Russian commanders had been assembly, in what appeared to be an implicit nod to Ukrainian intelligence gathering.

If Ukrainian officers transform unsuitable, it is probably not the primary time they’ve prematurely introduced the loss of life of a top-level Russian adversary. Early within the battle, Kyiv dealt an embarrassing blow to Moscow when it sank its Black Sea flagship, the Moskva. The captain of the vessel was killed within the assault, Ukraine claimed, however then, too, video emerged that confirmed him seemingly alive and nicely.

No matter whether or not the brand new claims bear out, it was past dispute on Tuesday that Ukraine had managed to drag off a significant strike within the coronary heart of Crimea, which Moscow seized in 2014, earlier than the full-scale invasion started final 12 months. The Russian fleet headquarters was badly broken within the assault.

Ukraine has been focusing on Crimea in an effort to decrease its effectiveness as a provide hub for Russian forces in southern Ukraine who’re making an attempt to repel a counteroffensive. Early Tuesday, Russian drones focused southern Ukraine, hitting port infrastructure, warehouses and dozens of vehicles close to the Black Sea. It was the second consecutive day of assaults on ports within the Odesa area.

Shortly earlier than the Russian video stated to indicate Admiral Sokolov was launched on Tuesday, Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, stated that responding to Ukraine’s claims in regards to the admiral’s loss of life was “solely the prerogative” of the Ministry of Protection and that the Kremlin had “nothing to say right here.”

Within the battle in Ukraine, misinformation is rife, and outright disinformation is a weapon like every other, relied on usually by either side.

The loss of life of Admiral Sokolov could be one of many largest blows to the Russian Navy since Ukrainian forces sank the Moskva, a missile cruiser.

At first, Moscow denied Ukraine’s assertions, claiming {that a} hearth aboard the ship had compelled its return to port. Solely finally did it acknowledge that the ship was misplaced. The Russian Protection Ministry stated the Moskva had “misplaced its stability attributable to harm to the hull from the detonation of ammunition” from a fireplace.

“In stormy sea circumstances, the ship sank,” the ministry stated.

If the loss of life of Admiral Sokolov finally ends up being confirmed, he would be a part of a protracted roster of senior Russian army officers killed since Moscow despatched its forces throughout the border into Ukraine in what many predicted could be a straightforward victory. A minimum of a dozen Russian generals have been reported killed on the entrance strains.

Reporting was contributed by Arijeta Lajka, Aric Toler, Victoria Kim and Neil MacFarquhar.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button