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Who Are the Dead Russian Military Officers and What Do Their Deaths Tell Us About Russia’s Operation?




A fourth Russian general has been killed during fighting in the city of Mariupol, Ukrainian officials have claimed.

It is the latest death reported of one ofRussia’s military officers as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.

As of Thursday morning, Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection (SSSCIP) was claiming a total of 14,000 Russian troops had been lost.

Who are the Russian major generals that have been killed?

Oleg Mityaev


Ukraine has claimed to have killed Russian Major General Oleg Mityaev during the storming of the besieged southern port city of Mariupol on Tuesday.

Major Generals are the lowest of the highest rank in the Russian military, equivalent to the NATO rank of OF-6, or a Brigadier in the British Army.

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Russian Major General Oleg Mityaev

Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko published a photo, of what he said was, the dead officer on Telegram, while President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported the death of a Russian general but did not name him.

Mityaev, 46, commanded the 150th motorised rifle division and had fought in Syria, Mr Gerashchenko said.

There was no confirmation of the death from Russia.

Andrei Sukhovetsky

Ukrainian officials said that Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky was shot and killed by a sniper at the end of February.

Major General Sukhovetsky was the deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army.

His death was reported in Russia by a veterans group on the country’s social media platform VK. It was subsequently referenced in a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin, although the Maj Gen was not mentioned by name.

He had previously served in the Russian military’s campaign in Syria.

Vitaly Gerasimov

The death of Major General Vitaly Gerasimov on 7 March was announced by Ukrainian military intelligence based on an intercepted radio call.

He was the first deputy commander of the 41st Army, and was killed outside of Kharkiv, according to a conversation between two FSB officers.

He had fought with Russian forces in Syria and Chechnya, and taken part in the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov was killed near Kharkiv. Pic: Ukrainian Ministry of Defence

Andrey Kolesnikov

Major General Andrey Kolesnikov, the commander of the of the 29th Combined Arms Army of the Eastern Military District, was killed in fighting over Mariupol on 11 March.

Mr Gerashchenko announced his death the following day.

Who are the other officers Ukraine has claimed to have killed?

Andrei Zakharov

Colonel Andrei Zakharov, the commander of the 6th Tank Regiment of the 90th Tank Division, was killed near Kyiv, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence.

Ukrainian officials again cited an intercepted radio conversation, released alongside a video of an ambush on the tanks, confirming Colonel Sakharov’s death.

Konstantin Zizevsky

The death of Konstantin Zizevsky, a Guards Colonel, was reported on Instagram by Mikhail Vedernikov, the governor of the Pskov region in Russia’s northwest.

He was killed during fighting in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Yuri Agarkov

In the same post on Instagram, Governor Vedernikov reported the death of Guard Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Agarkov.

He commanded a motorised rifle regiment, according to a report in the Russian media in Kamyshin.

Dmitry Safronov

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Safronov, the commander of the 61st Separate Marine Brigade, was killed in an operation to liberate the city of Chuhuiv.

Denis Glebov

Lieutenant Denis Glebov, the deputy commander of the 11th Separate Airborne Assault Brigade, was also killed during the liberation of Chuhuiv, according to the Ukrainian defence officials.

The Russian news agency TASS said he had posthumously been awarded the Order of Courage.

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Moment Russian tank attacked in Mariupol

Magomed Tushaev

General Magomed Tushaev was leading a Chechen special forces column when he was killed near Hostomel.

He was the commander of the 141th motorised national guard brigade, and had reportedly been accused of leading a number of homophobic purges in Chechnya.

Vladimir Zhoga

The death of Guards Colonel Vladimir Zhoga was reported on Telegram by Denis Pushilin, the head of the Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic.

He reported the officer had been killed in Volnovakha in eastern Ukraine while “engaged in evacuation of civilians”.

Guard Colonel Zhoga was the Ukrainian-born commander of the Sparta Separate Reconnaissance Battalion, a separatist force garrisoned in Donetsk.

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What do their deaths tell us about Russia’s military operation?

Sky News correspondent Alistair Bunkall has said the killing of Russian generals certainly adds credence to the assessment that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not going as planned.

“Two theories are that the Russian generals went to the front lines to sort out the strategic mess some of the battalions have got themselves in, or to encourage demoralised soldiers to advance,” he added.

According to Air Vice Marshal Sean Bell, there are generally three levels of warfare: Tactical, operational, and strategic.

Usually, major generals would be stationed away from tactical warfare, which covers on-the-ground fighting.

“It’s evident this war has not been going the way Putin expected it to go,” he told Sky News.

“As a result of that, he has clearly got rid of a whole tranch of senior generals, brought in some new ones, and you can only imagine what the marching orders were to them – get to the front and I want to see some action.”

The Great Debate airs on Sky News at 9pm on Monday

Therefore, they are being seen “trying to inspire, motivate, lead, at a tactical level, some of the conscripts and the army” on the front line, he added.

Mr Bell continued to explain that there could be around 20 major generals involved in this campaign but it “wouldn’t be at all surprising to see a three-figure number” in the Russian military.

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WHO Estimates 15m People Have Died Directly or Indirectly From COVID – More Than Double Official Death Toll




The World Health Organisation estimates that 15 million people worldwide have now died of coronavirus – or as a result of its impact on health services.

WHO data shows the number of excess COVID mortalities to be somewhere between 13.3 million and 16.6 million people from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021. This is more than double the official death toll of around six million.

Excess mortality refers to the number of people who have died of the virus either directly or indirectly by being unable to access health services for other conditions.

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The figures were compiled using country-reported data and statistical modelling, the WHO said.


There were 14.9 million excess deaths associated with COVID-19 by the end of 2021, the UN body said on Thursday.

Most excess COVID deaths (86%) happened in Asia, Europe and the Americas, according to the figures.

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Middle-income countries accounted for 81% of deaths, with 28% occurring in upper-middle-income countries and 4% in low-income ones.

Some 68% of all excess deaths worldwide happened in just 10 countries.

There was a higher rate for men (57%) than there was for women (43%), with more excess deaths among the elderly than younger generations.

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WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented: “These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems.

“WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes.”

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Pope Francis Seen Using Wheelchair for the First Time for Mobility Reasons




The Pope has been pictured using a wheelchair – the first time he’s used one in public due to the knee pain that’s made it hard for him to walk and stand.

Francis, 85, was wheeled on stage and helped into a seat during an audience with a group of nuns and religious superiors from around the world at the Vatican.

He appears to be having a flare-up of sciatica, a nerve condition he suffers with that he’s called his “troublesome guest”.

The Pope has had to cancel or cut short activities several times in the last month because of pain in his right knee.

He was pictured in a wheelchair last July after major intestinal surgery, but this is believed to be the first time he’s used one in public due to his mobility problems.


Before Thursday’s event, he was able to walk the roughly 10 metres or so from the side entrance of the stage to his seat with some help.

He recently received some injections to try to relieve the pain but has continued to struggle.

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His impaired movement was apparent over Easter when he attended but did not take charge of masses at St Peter’s Basilica, instead delegating a cardinal or archbishop to preside.

During a trip to Malta in April he was also pictured using an elevator platform to get on and off the plane.

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Woman Pulled Alive From Rubble Six Days After Building Collapsed




A woman has been found alive in the rubble of a building that partially collapsed almost six days earlier, Chinese state media has said.

At least five people are confirmed to have died and possibly dozens are still missing following the disaster in the city of Changsha, in central China‘s Hunan Province, on 29 April.

The unidentified woman has become the 10th survivor and was rescued shortly after midnight today, about 132 hours after the rear of the six-storey building suddenly caved in, the official Xinhua News Agency has reported.

The woman was conscious and told rescuers how to pull her out without causing further injury, Xinhua added.

Teams had used dogs and hand tools as well as drones and electronic life detectors in the search.


All the survivors were reportedly in good condition after being treated in a hospital and it is thought intermittent rain showers over the last few days may have helped their chances of survival without food or water.

At least nine people have been arrested in relation to the collapse of what Xinhua has described as a “self-built building”.

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This includes its owner, on suspicion of ignoring building codes or committing other violations.

Three people in charge of design and construction were also held, along with five others who allegedly gave a false safety assessment for a guest house on the building’s fourth to sixth floors.

The building also housed residences, a cafe and shops.

An aerial photo shows the site of the collapsed residential building in Changsha, central China’s Hunan Province

There has been increase in the number of collapses of self-built buildings in recent years.

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for additional checks to uncover structural weaknesses.

Following the building collapse at the weekend, he urged for more victims to be found in the rubble “at all costs”.

Poor adherence to safety standards, including the illegal addition of extra floors and failure to use reinforcing iron bars, is often blamed for similar disasters.

China also suffers from decaying infrastructure such as gas pipes that has led to explosions and collapses.

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