Putin loses another top commander: Captain of 370ft Black Sea landing ship is killed in battle


Russia has suffered the loss of yet another senior officer as the captain of a large Russian landing ship has been killed in the war in Ukraine, according to the governor of Sevastopol.

Captain Alexander Chirva died from wounds sustained in a battle with Ukrainian defenders, said the Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev.

His death is just the latest in a string of high-profile deaths for the Russian military, coming on the heels of seven generals already killed in action since the war began and a staggering 20,800 troops lost overall.

Chirva was a 3rd rank captain from a naval family who leaves behind a wife and a son. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Chriva’s funeral was held in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, where he was from.

He was commander of the large, 370 ft landing ship Caesar Kunikov, capable of carrying ten main battle tanks plus 340 troops part of the Black Sea Fleet.

It is thought that the Caesar Kunikov was damaged during a Ukrainian missile attack on landing ships unloading supplies at the strategic port of Berdyansk on March 24, but it is unclear if this was the incident which led to the captain’s death.

Chirva was a 3rd rank captain from a naval family. He leaves behind a wife (pictured) and a son. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Chriva's funeral was held in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, where he was from

Captain Alexander Chirva, of Russian landing ship Caesar Kunikov, who’s death was announced by the governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev

The Caesar Kunikov landing ship, which was thought to be damaged in during a Ukrainian missile attack on landing ships in the port of Berdyansk on March 24

The Caesar Kunikov landing ship, which was thought to be damaged in during a Ukrainian missile attack on landing ships in the port of Berdyansk on March 24

370 ft landing ship Caesar Kunikov, capable of carrying ten main battle tanks plus 340 troops part of the Black Sea Fleet

370 ft landing ship Caesar Kunikov, capable of carrying ten main battle tanks plus 340 troops part of the Black Sea Fleet

The Kunikov’s sister landing ship the Orsk was hit and eventually sank while in port, having had its location advertised on Russian state propaganda. 

It is thought that Chirva and his ship were involved in the rescue operation, with fire from the Orsk reportedly spreading to other vessels as well as an ammunition depot and a fuel terminal in the port. 

‘Today we said goodbye to Alexander Grigorievich Chirva,’ said Razvozhayev without giving more detail of the circumstances of his death.

‘His courage, professionalism and experience saved the lives of the crew members.’

He was born in Sevastopol, and graduated from the Naval Institute of Radio Electronics. In 2015 and 2016, he participated in Russia’s military operations in Syria.

The announcement follows the sinking of the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship, Moskva, after it was hit by two Ukrainian Neptune missiles.

There is confusion over whether the Moskva’s captain, Captain Anton Kuprin, died during the sinking or not, with Ukraine initially reporting his death but Russian state television subsequently released a video purporting to show the surviving crew including Kuprin.

Above: Chirva pictured with his wife and son. His death is just the latest in a string of high-profile deaths for the Russian military, coming on the heels of seven generals already killed in action since the war began and staggering losses overall

Above: Chirva pictured with his wife and son. His death is just the latest in a string of high-profile deaths for the Russian military, coming on the heels of seven generals already killed in action since the war began and staggering losses overall

He was born in Sevastopol, and graduated from the Naval Institute of Radio Electronics. In 2015 and 2016, he participated in Russia’s military operations in Syria

He was born in Sevastopol, and graduated from the Naval Institute of Radio Electronics. In 2015 and 2016, he participated in Russia’s military operations in Syria

Captain Alexander Chirva died from wounds sustained in a battle with Ukrainian defenders, said the governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev

Captain Alexander Chirva died from wounds sustained in a battle with Ukrainian defenders, said the governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev

But the clip appears clumsily doctored, with the same sailors seeming to appear multiple times and the tree foliage suggesting the film was made at a different time of year. Yesterday, at the risk of being censured or even arrested, desperate parents of crew members broke their silence.

They fear the death toll from the Moskva is at least 40 and could be much higher. Western military sources have suggested it could be in the hundreds.

Neptune anti-ship cruise missiles fired by Ukraine struck the ship’s port side, targeting her engines and starting a propellant fuel fire.

In the wake of disastrous Moskva sinking, the head of the Black Sea Fleet Vice Admiral Igor Osipov, commander of the Black Sea Fleet, is believed to have been suspended or detained or both.

On March 20, it became known that Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Captain 1st Rank Andrei Paliy, 51, had died in Ukraine.

He was killed during the battles for Mariupol.

The first image of the guided missile cruiser Moskva of the Russian Navy that sank on April 15

The first image of the guided missile cruiser Moskva of the Russian Navy that sank on April 15

The death toll for Russian personnel has breached 20,000, according to Ukraine, with thousands of vehicles and armoured personnel carriers making up eyewatering losses

The death toll for Russian personnel has breached 20,000, according to Ukraine, with thousands of vehicles and armoured personnel carriers making up eyewatering losses 

A destroyed Russian tank on the main road outside Kyiv. Civilians stop to explore and take photographs. The latest losses of the Russian Armed Forces in the war in Ukraine puts the number of personnel killed at breaching 20,00, and mindboggling quantities of materiel

A destroyed Russian tank on the main road outside Kyiv. Civilians stop to explore and take photographs. The latest losses of the Russian Armed Forces in the war in Ukraine puts the number of personnel killed at breaching 20,00, and mindboggling quantities of materiel

Residents look at destroyed Russian tanks outskirts of Buzova village, west of Kyiv. 802 tanks are claimed to have been destroyed, 169 aircraft, 150 helicopters, 158 UAVs, 386 artillery systems, and a mammoth 2063 armoured personnel vehicles

Residents look at destroyed Russian tanks outskirts of Buzova village, west of Kyiv. 802 tanks are claimed to have been destroyed, 169 aircraft, 150 helicopters, 158 UAVs, 386 artillery systems, and a mammoth 2063 armoured personnel vehicles

The latest losses of the Russian Armed Forces in the war in Ukraine puts the number of personnel killed at breaching 20,00, and mindboggling quantities of materiel.

Russian hardware has taken a pummeling from Western shoulder-mounted anti-tank weapons such as Javellin missiles and the British-made NLAW that have been pouring into the wartorn country to help Ukraine repel the Russian aggressors. 

802 tanks are claimed to have been destroyed, 169 aircraft, 150 helicopters, 158 UAVs, 386 artillery systems, and a mammoth 2063 armoured personnel vehicles. 

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov claimed that Ukraine has lost 23,367 soldiers including mercenaries during the war.           

Russia’s fallen generals 

General Magomed Tushaev: Chechen special forces leader who had led ‘anti-gay purges’ killed in an ambush near Hostomel on February 26 

Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky: Deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District killed during a special operation by a sniper on March 4General Magomed Tushaev

Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, 47, deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District

Chechen general Magomed Tushaev was one of 56 highly-feared elite soldiers killed at Hostomel

General Magomed Tushaev (right) was blown up in the early stages of the war by Ukraine after they joined the Russian invasion

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov: First deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army who took part in operations in Syria and Crimea, killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8

Major General Andrei Kolesnikov: Commander of the 29th Combined Army Army killed on March 11

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov (left) was the first deputy commander of Russia's 41st army

Major General Andrei Kolesnikov of the 29th Combined Arms Army

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov (left) was first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, taking part in operations in Syria and Crimea. He was killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8

Major-General Oleg Mityaev, died fighting near the city of Mariupol on 16 March

Lt-Gen Andrey Mordvichev, killed in the Kherson region on March 19 

Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army, was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25 

Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev , commander of Russia's 49th combined army. He was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25

Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev , commander of Russia’s 49th combined army. He was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25

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