Russian Navy flag officer killed in Ukraine, adding to top rank losses

Yet another top-ranking Russian military leader has died in Ukraine, according to sources that report Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet Captain 1st Rank Andrey Paliy was killed during the fighting near Mariupol, Ukraine.

Paliy was one of several high-ranking Russian soldiers whose deaths were reported during the war with Ukraine.

Five Russian generals have been killed according to Ukrainian authorities, who have relished reporting the deaths of high-ranking Russian soldiers since the beginning of the war, although Moscow has not commented on the high number of casualties.

The Russian death toll was 12,500 more than a week ago, according to Ukraine claims during the campaign one Kremlin official reportedly described as a “clusterf***”.

Paliy was born in 1971 in Kyiv. In 1992 he graduated from the Kiev Higher Naval Political School. He was a deputy company commander in the National Guard of Ukraine. He refused to take the oath to Ukraine and went to serve in the Northern Fleet.

In 2014, he was appointed deputy head of the Nakhimov Black Sea Higher Naval School for military-political work. Since 2019, he has been Deputy Commander of the Baltic Fleet for military-political work. In 2020, he was transferred to the same position in the Black Sea Fleet. He took part in the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008, was the deputy commander of Russian troops in Syria.

The deceased Navy officer held the post of admiral but before his death, documents were being prepared for him to be awarded the rank of Rear Admiral.

A sniper killed Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, Russia’s most senior officer leading the invasion, while Major General Vitaly Gerasimov and Major General Andrei Kolesnikov are also among the high-ranking Russian military officials killed in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military claims that in less than a month since the beginning of the invasion, the Russian army has lost more than 14,000 people, without saying how many of them were killed and how many were wounded.

US intelligence sources said that the Russian army lost 7,000 troop, a number greater than in the first Chechen war and approaching the losses in the second Chechen war.

Russia’s attempt to conquer Ukraine could be headed toward a stalemate as heavy casualties and equipment losses take a toll on unprepared Russian forces that have failed so far to achieve any of their initial objectives, Western officials and military experts say.

The front lines have barely moved in more than a week. Russians are being killed or injured at the rate of up to 1,000 a day, according to Western intelligence estimates, and even more according to Ukrainian ones.

Videos of burned-out tanks and abandoned convoys stream constantly on Ukrainian social media accounts, alongside footage of dead Russian soldiers, surrendering Russian soldiers, hungry Russian soldiers stealing chickens from local farmers — and, increasingly, the mangled bodies of Ukrainian civilians dying in missile and artillery attacks.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says 902 civilians have been killed and another 1,459 have been wounded so far in the war in Ukraine but the office warned that the actual number is likely “considerably higher.”

Those casualties occurred between Feb. 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine, and Saturday at midnight local time, as Russia’s military continued bombing and assaulting cities.

Most of the injuries and deaths were caused by “explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes,” OHCHR said.

Many of the casualties — 992 — occurred in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine’s east, which are partially controlled by separatist rebels backed by Moscow.

OHCHR said there are likely more civilian casualties than it has officially recorded, especially stemming from intense fighting in recent days.

The Kremlin has denied targeting civilians during its invasion.

The ferocity of the Russian assault has only intensified as the Red Army advances have slowed, with the invaders substituting harsh bombardments of civilian populations for progress on the battlefield.

Regular Ukrainians living in cities surrounded, or partially surrounded, by Russian troops are paying a heavy price for the war effort that began to go wrong for the invaders in the first hours.

But in the absence of substantive progress on the ground and given the scale of the losses being inflicted on its ranks, Russia’s military campaign could soon become unsustainable, with troops unable to advance because they lack sufficient manpower, supplies and munitions, analysts say.

The next two weeks could be critical in determining the outcome of the entire war, they say. Unless Russia can swiftly improve its supply lines, bring reinforcements and bolster the flagging morale of the troops on the ground, its goals may become impossible to achieve.

A long list of countries are sending weaponry to Ukraine as the East European country defends itself against the brutal invasion by Russia.

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