Vladimir Putin has reportedly lost his 38th, 39th and 40th colonels in the Ukraine war, adding to Russia’s mounting casualties in the conflict.
Lt. Col. Alexander Blinov’s death was confirmed on Monday when a photo of his likeness surfaced on a grave in Volgograd, southwest Russia.
Russian officials had previously denied the colonel, who was serving in a motorized rifle unit, had been killed.
Mr Blinov was a married father of three and a family friend confirmed the news to a local newspaper, saying: “Unfortunately, it was announced today of the death of my friend Sasha Blinov in Ukraine. For us it is just a shock.”
He would be the 40th colonel to die in the war.
This news came after the reported death of Russia’s 39th colonel, Fezul Bichikaev – an elite soldier who is said to have died while on a covert intelligence mission.
A military expert, Oleg Marzoev, reportedly told a local news website that Mr Bichikaev acted with “self-sacrifice and heroism”.
He was one of Russia’s youngest colonels and was killed near Kharkiv, local media reported.
It was previously reported that Lieutenant Colonel Fyodor Evgenyevich Solovyov was the 38th Russian colonel to die in the war in Ukraine.
A Russian report says the 44-year-old was commander of a self-propelled howitzer artillery regiment and was decorated with the Order of Bravery.
Russia’s battlefield losses and documented operational failures have prevented President Putin from declaring a success in the war at the Victory Parade, the UK Ministry of Defense has claimed.
“Russia’s underestimation of the Ukrainian resistance and its ‘best-case scenario’ planning have led to demonstrable operational errors and prevented President Putin from taking part in the Victory Parade on March 9.
It added that Russia’s invasion plan was “most likely” based on the assumption that it would face limited resistance during the invasion of Ukraine.
President Putin on Monday held Victory Day celebrations and delivered a speech in Moscow’s Red Square blaming the West for the war.
Putin said his invasion of Ukraine was necessary because the West was “preparing to invade our country, including Crimea.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/putin-loses-39th-colonel-kharkiv-b2075368.html Putin ‘loses 38th, 39th and 40th colonels’ in Ukraine war in a triple whammy