A fighter of Russian special forces, who was dubbed as 'Agent Stalin', was killed in Mariupol by the Ukrainian forces. The elite Spetsnaz fighter was among the three Spetsnaz GRU troops to be killed in Mariupol by Ukraine's Azov regiment.
The identities of the trio were confirmed after their documents were found in a Russian armoured vehicle. The three were named Captain Konstantin Druzhkov, 33, Islam Abduragimov, 19 and Shamil Aselderov.
Dzhugashvili -- Family Name of Stalin
Druzhkov, who was dubbed as Agent Stalin, had served in Russia's military intelligence and his wife hailed from the Donbas region, according to The Mirror.
Druzhkov was on social media with the pseudonym Konstantin Dzhugashvili to conceal his identity and has been involved in fighting in Donbas since 2014.
Notably, Dzhugashvili was the family name of Josef Stalin, a Soviet-era leader who was known for his brutal policies.
Why GRU Troops' Killings Matters
The GRU troops are notorious in Russia as they have played a key role in dangerous missions as in 2018 their squad poisoned a former spy in Salisbury with a Soviet-era nerve agent. The spy Sergei Skripal had defected to Britain.
GRU members have also been involved in larger operations during the Cold War. Captain Yevgeny Ivanov, then GRU agent under diplomatic cover in London triggered the fall of a Tory government after he seduced Christine Keeler, the lover of British war minister John Profumo.
Agent Stalin was killed in Mariupol, a Ukrainian city that is facing massive shelling and attacks by Russians as they warned Kyiv to surrender Mariupol.
However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has pledged to fight and refused Kremlin's deadline to surrender, a move that signals that the Ukrainian government is confident about its military power in the region.
A large number of people are still trapped in Mariupol despite the Russians bombing of an art school and a theatre which was among the major shelter places.
The city might face more brutal attacks by the Russian troops but the Ukraine Armed Forces Azov regiment is believed to be playing a key role in thwarting their plans.