Ukraine’s defense ministry has announced that Ukrainian soldiers have killed another top Russian General during the ongoing siege of Kharkiv.
The ministry’s intelligence arm revealed that Russia’s 41st Army chief of staff, Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, had been shot along with other senior Russian officers.
The Ukrainian ministry allegedly intercepted a conversation between two Russian officers about the general’s death. They were also heard complaining about their malfunctioning communication systems inside Ukraine.
⚡️Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reports that Russian Major-General Vitaly Gerasimov was killed in action near Kharkiv.
The report also says other high-rank Russian officers were hit. If true, moral among Russian officers is about to plummet.
— Oleksiy Sorokin (@mrsorokaa) March 7, 2022
Netherlands-based investigative journalism group Bellingcat said that a Russian source confirmed the information, identifying the officials heard talking about Gerasimov’s death.
Gerasimov was a seasoned military officer in Russia. He was deployed in the Russian military operation in Syria, the second Chechen war, and the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
He is now the second Russian general from the 41st Army to die at the hands of Ukrainian soldiers.
Last week, deputy commander of the Russian 41st Combined Arms Army, Major General Andrey Sukhovetsky, was reportedly shot by a sniper as Ukrainian soldiers were repelling a Russian offensive.
‘A Major Demotivator’
The death of several high-ranking Russian officers during the invasion of Ukraine is seen as a major blow for President Vladimir Putin.
Bellingcat executive director Christo Grozev said in a social media post that the information would be “a major demotivator” for Russian troops.
! Ukrainian armed forces announced that they have killed maj. gen. Andrey Sukhovetskiy, a Spetsnaz commander and deputy chief of the 41 Army in Novosibirsk. This appears confirmed by a spokesperson of the Russian Paratroopers Union. If confirmed, major demotivator for RU.
— Christo Grozev (@christogrozev) March 3, 2022
Apart from Gerasimov and Sukhovetsky, the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection (SSSCIP) of Ukraine announced that Russia’s 61st Separate Marine Brigade commander Dmitry Safronov and 11th Separate Airborne Assault Brigade deputy commander Denis Glebov were killed.
The SSSCIP further claimed that Ukrainian defense forces have killed 11,000 Russian soldiers.
A total of 46 Russian aircraft, seven unmanned aerial vehicles, 290 armored vehicles, 117 artillery systems, and three vessels had reportedly been neutralized as of Monday.