The Russian Black Sea commander appeared to act after killing him at the behest of Ukraine


MOSCOW, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and one of Russia’s most senior naval officers, was seen participating in a video conference on Tuesday, a day after Ukraine The Special Forces said they had killed him.

In video and photos released by the Russian Defense Ministry, Sokolov is shown apparently participating in a video conference with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and other top admirals and army chiefs.

The video was shown on Russian state television.

Ukraine’s special forces said on Monday they had killed Moscow’s top admiral in Crimea, Admiral Sokolov, along with 33 other officers in a missile attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet in the port of Sevastopol last week.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on Ukraine’s claim, referring reporters to the Defense Ministry.

In a video released by the ministry, Shoigu said more than 17,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and more than 2,700 weapons destroyed in September, including seven American Bradley fighting vehicles.

“Ukraine’s armed forces are suffering heavy losses on the entire front line,” Shoigu said, adding that Ukraine’s countermeasures have so far yielded no results.

“The United States and its allies continue to arm the armed forces of Ukraine, and the Kiev government throws untrained soldiers to kill in senseless attacks,” Shoigu said.

Ukraine’s countermeasures have not yet yielded significant territorial gains against Russian forces, which occupy about 17.5 percent of Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory.

According to a Sept. 19 scorecard from the Belfer Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Russia gained 35 square miles of territory from Ukraine last month, while Ukrainian forces took 16 square miles from Russian forces.

Reporting by Guy Falconbridge; Edited by Mark Trevelyan and Gareth Jones

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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