A Russian general has been killed in eastern Ukraine, a Russian state-run journalist reported, adding to a series of high-ranking military casualties suffered by Moscow.

The information, posted on the Telegram messaging app by state television reporter Alexander Sladkov, did not say precisely when and where General Roman Kutuzov was killed.

In 2019, on the website of the Russian Ministry of Defense, he was listed as acting commander of the 29th Combined Army.

According to the Ukrinform news agency, Popasna, where Kutuzov is believed to have died, some units of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th Military Army of the Russian Federation suffered significant losses. This is at least 50% of the personnel, weapons and equipment.

Russian forces have stepped up attacks to capture Severodonetsk, a key city in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region that Moscow is targeting after failing to take the capital Kyiv earlier in the war.

Russia already classifies military deaths as a state secret even in peacetime and has not updated its official casualty figures in Ukraine since March 25, when it said 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed since the start of its military campaign on March 24. February.

Russia says it is conducting a “special military operation” designed to demilitarize Ukraine and rid it of nationalists who threaten the Russian-speaking population. Ukraine and Western countries dismiss Russia’s claims as a pretext to invade.

The UK Ministry of Defense has claimed in one of its daily war reports that Russia appeared to have suffered significant losses among junior and mid-ranking officers in Ukraine.

Since the war in Ukraine began, the death of Russian generals has been constant. The first was killed in an ambush on the tank column headed for kyiv: Magomed Tushayev was loyal to dictator Ramzan Kadyrov in Chechnya, where he had a reputation as a “persecutor of homosexuals.” The last, before Kutuzov’s death, was killed on May 2 near Izyum, in a school that has become the advanced command of the Second Army in Donbas: Andrei Simonov, 55, an expert in cyber warfare, lost life when several Ukrainian missiles hit a convoy of 30 armored vehicles. The main target of the bombing was the front-line mission of Valery Gerasimov, the highest Russian commander who has appeared alongside Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin just out of school.

To find high-ranking officer death figures like these, you have to go back 80 years: during World War II, some 235 Soviet generals died in combat, according to data collected by historian Aleksander Maslov. But even in the worst period, from June 1941 to November 1942, when the Red Army surrounded the Wehrmacht at Stalingrad, the average loss among the top brass sent by Moscow was six per month. More or less today’s figures.

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