Putin loses ANOTHER colonel in Ukraine: Close ally of Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov is latest to be killed as death toll among high ranks hits 49
- Lieutenant-colonel Zaur Dimayev killed Tuesday by shell in Luhansk, it is claimed
- Dimayev was the deputy commander of a Chechen special forces battalion
- Pictures show him posing alongside feared Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov
- It brings the total number of Russian colonels killed fighting to at least 49
Russia has lost another colonel in Ukraine as Vladimir Putin’s top brass continues to suffer heavy casualties in his miscalculated invasion.
Lieutenant-colonel Zaur Dimayev, deputy commander of the 4th battalion of the Akhmat Kadyrov special forces regiment, was killed Tuesday by an artillery barrage in the Donbas region, Telegram channel Baza reported today.
Dimayev was riding in a military SUV through the village of Kamyshevakha, Luhansk province, when it was hit by a Ukrainian shell, according to the site – which is thought to have links to Russian intelligence.
It brings the total number of Russian colonels killed fighting to at least 49, though no official tally has been published by either Kyiv or Moscow.
Lieutenant-colonel Zaur Dimayev (left), was killed when a Ukrainian shell hit the military SUV he was riding in Luhansk province on Tuesday (pictured right, warlord Ramzan Kadyrov)
The commander, a friend of feared Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov, was said to have been killed instantly alongside his driver.
Two Chechen police officers were also said to have been killed, with another four wounded. Their conditions are not clear.
Chechen special forces – known colloquially as Kadyrovites after their leader – have increasingly been dragged into combat in Ukraine after Russia’s military was mauled failing to take Kyiv.
Videos show they were heavily involved in fighting in Mariupol, and have also been involved in trench warfare in Donbas – alongside the armed forces of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
High-ranking commanders have also been dragged into the bloodshed, thought to be because poor organisation has forced them to the front to oversee the fighting.
Just last week, Russia confirmed that Lieutenant colonel Alexander Dosyagayev, 34, believed to be one of the country’s top paratroopers, had been killed.
Dosyagayev was a commander of an airborne assault battalion of the 104th paratrooper regiment, which had been recognised as Russia’s most elite.
Troops from the 104th were reportedly in Bucha, the scene of alleged rape and torture atrocities committed by Putin’s forces earlier in the war.
Col Vladimir Ivanov, 41, part of the defence ministry’s department of Information and Mass Communication, was also confirmed dead.
Ivanov had been killed back in March but his death was only announced recently, thought to be a deliberate tactic by Russia to keep the true toll of its war hidden.
Though the exact number of Russian forces killed in the fighting is unclear – perhaps even to Putin’s commanders – Western intelligence estimates that more than 15,000 have been killed. Kyiv puts the number significantly higher, at more than 30,000.
US officials said Tuesday that some 20 per cent of Russia’s combat forces in Ukraine – estimated at 150,000 before the war started – are now out of action. That would mean 30,000 killed or wounded in action.
America also believes that Russia has lost more than 1,000 tanks and is struggling to replace them due to sanctions, perhaps explaining why 50-year-old models were recently filmed heading to the front having been taken out of long-term storage.
Russia is currently fighting a bloody battle for control of the Donbas region, with both sides thought to be suffering heavy losses on a frontline described as ‘hell’.
Fighting is currently concentrated around the city of Severodonetsk, one of the last Ukrainian strongholds in Luhansk province, which appears on the verge of falling to Russian forces.
Putin’s men will then only need to capture the city of Lysychansk – located just a few hundreds yards away across an industrial zone – to claim ownership of Luhansk.
Heavy fighting is currently underway in the city of Severodonetsk in Ukraine’s east, which is in danger of falling to Russia. But Ukrainian counter-attacks are also underway in the south
The cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, around 35 miles west of Lysyschansk, will then be the main obstacles to capturing the whole of the Donbas.
Ukraine has attempted to play down recent Russian advances, saying they provide propaganda for Putin but little tactical advantage.
Kyiv’s generals still believe they can ultimately win the war, provided Western allies keep supplying weapons for their troops to push back Russian forces.
To that end, Joe Biden on Tuesday announced the US will be sending advanced rocket artillery to the frontlines as part of a new $700million shipment.
Though he did not specify the system in question, it is expected he will send M270 MLRS – a Soviet-era artillery system designed specifically to counter Russia.
He made the announcement in an op-ed for the New York Times in which he laid out America’s ultimate goal in Ukraine: To weaken Russia to the point where Ukraine can negotiate a peace deal it is satisfied with.
‘We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression,’ he said.
RUSSIA’S FALLEN GENERALS
General Magomed Tushaev: Chechen special forces leader who had led ‘anti-gay purges’ killed in an ambush near Hostomel on February 26
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky: Deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District killed during a special operation by a sniper on March 4
General Magomed Tushaev (right) was blown up in the early stages of the war by Ukraine after they joined the Russian invasion
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov: First deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army who took part in operations in Syria and Crimea, killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Major General Andrei Kolesnikov: Commander of the 29th Combined Army Army killed on March 11
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov (left) was first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, taking part in operations in Syria and Crimea. He was killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Major General Oleg Mityaev, died fighting near the city of Mariupol on 16 March
Lt Gen Andrey Mordvichev, killed in the Kherson region on March 19
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army, was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25
Major General Vladimir Frolov was deputy commander of the 8th Guards Army in east Ukraine
Major General Kanamat Botashev (retired) was killed flying fighter jets for a private military contractor in Donbas last week
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army (left) killed near the southern city of Kherson, and Major General Vladimir Frolov (right)
Retired Major General Kanamat Botashev, 63, was killed flying fighter jets for a private military contractor in Ukraine
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