Fifth Russian general killed as ‘planes and helicopters shot down’, Ukraine claims

Lieutenant-General Andrei Mordvichev reportedly died when Ukraine’s forces hit an airfield near Kherson

Holly Bancroft
Sunday 20 March 2022 15:34 GMT
Russian combat helicopter engulfed in flames and crashes to ground
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A fifth Russian general has been killed during fighting near the southern city of Kherson, Ukrainian officials have claimed.

In a post on social media, the general staff of Ukraine’s army claimed that the Russian Lieutenant-General Andrei Mordvichev had died when Ukrainian forces hit an airfield in Chornobayivka, near Kherson airport.

The Kremlin has not confirmed Mr Mordvichev’s death.

“The commander of the 8th military army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation of Lieutenant General Andriy Mordvichev was destroyed as a result of the fire attack on the opponent,” the general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine wrote on social media.

They added: “Based on the fact that the enemy has suffered major losses in personnel, it is likely that the Russian military and political leadership will make a decision ... to prolong the length of the war.”

Ukrainian officials claimed that Russia “continues to bear significant losses” and that there is “a low level of morale” among their military forces.

Ukraine also said on Saturday morning that their fighter jets and anti-aircraft missile forces had hit “12 enemy air targets: 2 planes, 3 helicopters, 3 UAVs and 4 cruise missiles.”

Ukraine’s president Volodymr Zelensky claimed on Thursday that a fourth Russian general had been killed during the fighting.

An adviser to the interior ministry later named him as Major General Oleg Mityaev.

Analysts believe that around 20 generals are leading the Russian operations in Ukraine, the BBC reported - so if all the purported deaths are confirmed then a quarter of Russia’s generals will have been killed in action.

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov was killed, according to Ukraine’s defence ministry

A person within Mr Zelensky’s inner circle told the Wall Street Journal that Ukraine had a military intelligence team that was dedicated to taking out high-ranking Russian officers.

“They look for high profile generals, pilots, artillery commanders,” the source said.

Major Generals Vitaly Gerasimov, Andrei Kolesnikov and Andrei Sukhovetsky have also been reported dead by Ukraine.

Major General Andrei Kolesnikov is claimed to have been killed by Ukrainian forces

However Russia has only confirmed the death of one military leader - Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky.

US intelligence reportedly estimated that Russian forces have suffered 7,000 deaths - more than American military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

Ukraine claimed on Saturday that more than 14,400 Russian soldiers have been killed in the war.

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