Vladimir Putin has lost his 15th commander as Russia continues to face stiff resistance from Ukrainian forces. Colonel Alexei Sharov was killed by Ukrainian forces in a fierce battle in Mariupol, dealing a hefty blow to the already demoralized Russian army that reportedly is now abandoning their vehicles and retreating in many parts of the country.
Sharov's death is a major blow to the Russian forces given that he was among some of the close aides of Putin. This comes as leaked documents from Kremlin claim that more than 10,000 Russian soldiers have died since Russia's invasion on Ukraine on February 25.
News of Sharov's death comes as the Russia-Ukraine war entered its 27th day. Russia has now lost 15 commanders in less than a month, with Sharov being the sixth general to have been killed by Ukrainian forces. The death of Sharov comes as Russia continues to suffer its worst massacre of military brass since World War Two.
Sharov was commander of the 810th Guards Separate Order of Zhukov Brigade of Russia's marine corps. He was killed in Mariupol, a city in southern Ukraine where over 200,000 people are stranded owing to fierce fighting and continuous bombing by the Russian air force.
Putin's besieging soldiers are destroying the city while fighting robust Ukrainian resistance. Sharov' death was announced Ukrainian army soldier Anatoliy Stefan on social media. It is not known exactly how Sharov was killed.
Sharov was one of the closest aides of Putin, according to local media reports and his death is a major blow to the Russia forces, which is already demoralized after suffering huge losses.
Russia Continues to Suffer
Sharov's death follows that of Colonel Nikolay Ovcharenko, Commander of the 45th Engineering Regiment. In a big offensive in Ukraine, he was reportedly slain alongside 18 of his teammates.
Russia had been keeping the true death figures of its soldiers under wraps. A pro-Kremlin tabloid revealed Russia's previously unknown overall death toll, revealing the actual cost of Putin's disastrous invasion. When Putin ordered the invasion, he expected a quick victory, but his soldiers have run across stubborn Ukrainian resistance and may shortly succumb.
On March 2 Russia claimed that only 498 of his soldiers had died in Ukraine. However, in an unexpected move, Komsomolskaya Pravda stated that 9,861 Russian soldiers have killed and 16,153 have been injured in Ukraine, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Ukrainian military sources claim to have killed more than 15,000 Russian soldiers, therefore the genuine amount could be much higher.
According to reports, Russia is discreetly transferring the bodies of fallen Russian soldiers home via Belarus on trains and ambulances at night in order to conceal the true death toll.
Moreover, there are reports that Russian soldiers in many parts of Ukraine are now refusing to fight and are either retreating or just abandoning their weapons and armored vehicles, raising further concerns for Putin.