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MOSCOW, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Admiral Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, was proven on Russian state tv on Tuesday attending a protection leaders’ assembly remotely, a day after Ukrainian particular forces mentioned they’d killed him.

In video and images launched by the protection ministry, Sokolov was proven as considered one of a number of fleet commanders on video apparently becoming a member of an in-person assembly of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and different military chiefs, though not talking. It was not clear when the video was filmed.

Ukraine’s particular forces mentioned on Monday that Sokolov had been killed together with 33 different officers in a missile assault final week on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet within the port of Sevastopol in Crimea, seized from Ukraine in 2014.

In response to the Russian video, the Ukraine particular forces mentioned on Telegram: “For the reason that Russians had been urgently compelled to publish a response with Sokolov allegedly alive, our items are clarifying the knowledge.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had declined to touch upon the Ukrainian declare, referring reporters to the ministry.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov, interviewed by CNN, neither confirmed nor denied Sokolov’s demise, however mentioned his demise might solely be an excellent factor for all involved.

“He’s in our short-term occupied territories … he shouldn’t be there in any respect,” CNN quoted Umerov as saying on its web site.

“So, if he’s useless, it’s excellent news for everyone that we’re persevering with to de-occupy our territory.” 

Within the video, Shoigu mentioned greater than 17,000 Ukrainian troopers had been killed in September and that greater than 2,700 weapons, together with seven American Bradley combating automobiles, had been destroyed.

Reuters couldn’t independently confirm battlefield claims.

“The Ukrainian armed forces are struggling critical losses alongside all the entrance line,” Shoigu mentioned, including that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had to date produced no outcomes.

“The US and its allies proceed to arm the armed forces of Ukraine, and the Kyiv regime throws untrained troopers to the slaughter in mindless assaults,” Shoigu mentioned.

Kyiv’s counteroffensive has but to grab a lot territory from Russian forces, which management about 17.5% of Ukraine’s internationally acknowledged territory.

In response to a Sept. 19 scorecard by the Belfer Heart at Harvard’s Kennedy College, Russia has gained 35 sq miles (91 sq km) from Ukraine up to now month whereas Ukrainian forces have taken 16 sq miles (41 sq km) from Russian forces.

(Reporting by Man Faulconbridge; Modifying by Mark Trevelyan, Gareth Jones, Alex Richardson, Ron Popeski and Timothy Gardner)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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