Russia has lost its ninth colonel in the Ukraine war, a major blow to President Vladimir Putin's military. Alexander Bespalov was given a funeral in Russia as he was Moscow's latest senior officer to be killed in the invasion.
Bespalov was commander of the 59th Tank Guards Tank Regiment, which faced massive losses on the battlefield.
Cause of Death Not Revealed
No official details regarding the cause of his death were revealed and his pictures that appeared online have shown a number of medals on him.
It came after Ukraine killed Russia's commander of the 200th motorized rifle brigade Colonel Denic Kurilo in an intense fight near Kharkiv.
Russia's tank regiment has faced massive losses in Ukraine as Kyiv used targetted tanks with drones and anti-tank missiles. Ukraine has claimed that it killed over 19,000 Russian troops in the war so far.
Russia Lost 5 Colonels in 10 Years in Afghanistan
Russia's loss of colonels in the Ukraine war has outnumbered its losses of colonels in 10 years of fighting in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union lost merely five generals during a decade of war in Afghanistan in 1980.
The incident came as Kremlin admitted to massive losses in the Ukraine war. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov had maintained that the losses were a huge tragedy for Moscow.
Russia's large number of airborne troops were also killed in the war. Russia's 55 troops from the 247th Guards Airborne Regiment were killed in Ukraine and a video shows they were lined up on the table. Colonel of the Airborne unit Konstantin Zizevsky also was killed in southern Ukraine.
Now many Russian troops are refusing to fight in Ukraine as around 60 elite Russian paratroopers have reportedly staged a mutiny and have refused to fight in Ukraine in what is being seen as the latest setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
These paratroopers are now facing jail time for insubordination. Some of these men have been fired and labeled "cowards," while others will face the Russian equivalent of a court-martial, which will almost certainly result in jail time.
Meanwhile, NATO has estimated that Russia's nearly 40,000 troops could be among captured, injured or dead Putin troops.