On Wednesday, Russia hosted a funeral service for the deputy commander of its Black Sea Fleet in seized Crimea, the latest in a spate of high-ranking Russian military losses, according to Ukraine, since Moscow invaded on Feb. 24.
Six Russian generals, as well as dozens of colonels and other commanders, were murdered in Ukraine, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak.
None of those deaths have been confirmed by Russia’s Defense Ministry. Since March 2, when it announced that 498 of its soldiers had killed a week into the battle, it has not changed its troop casualties. According to Ukraine, the number is 15,600.
Most of Ukraine’s assertions could not be independently verified by Reuters, but others were confirmed by Russian sources.
In a statement on its website, the local Russian government in the southern port of Novorossiysk acknowledged Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky’s death on February 28. He had served in Syria, the North Caucasus, and Abkhazia, according to the report.
Hundreds of people gathered in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Wednesday for Andrei Paliy’s funeral, which included a gun salute. Paliy was a first-rank captain and the deputy commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
The Ukrainian estimates of Russian high-ranking losses were credible, according to Konrad Muzyka, director of the Rochan consultancy in Poland, but they were difficult to verify, and the true amount was likely lower.
“Even if we’re only talking about two generals,” he continued, “that’s a significant thing.” “We’re not just talking about generals; we’re talking about colonels, who are also at the top of the organization.”
Such casualties, he added, indicated that Russia did not have a sufficient grasp of Ukrainian artillery sites, and that Ukraine was successful in determining the whereabouts of key Russian officers, potentially through their mobile phone signals.