Ukraine war: Vladimir Putin loses two colonels in one day


Vladimir Putin lost his second colonel to be revealed in a single day in the war in Ukraine.

Highly decorated Colonel Sergei Krasnikov, 56, a renowned action man who had parachuted at the North Pole, died in an ambush on a reconnaissance mission.

A trained paratrooper, he had switched in the criminal justice system before volunteering to fight in the Russian army in Ukraine, say reports.

Krasikov had been head coach of the Russian national parachuting team.

He died as the volunteer commander of an invading mortar crew in a battle in the village of Ternove, in Kharkiv region.

He was a colonel in the Investigative Committee, seen as an equivalent of the FBI.

Earlier, the death of Colonel Sergei Postnov – in his 40s – was disclosed.

The losses mean Putin had now seen the deaths of 54 confirmed colonels in Ukraine – a shocking toll that probably underscores the true scale of losses among these high ranking officers .

Putin has also lost at least 11 generals.

Russia – like Ukraine – had failed to disclose its true losses in the debilitating war.

Postnov was part of a military propaganda unit in the Russian National Guard, which reports directly to Putin.

He had been on active duty with Russian forces close to Kyiv, in Kharkiv as well as more recently in the Luhansk region.

It is unclear exactly how and where he was killed.

An official statement said that his life was ‘cut short’ while on a mission in Ukraine.

It said he had ‘performed service and combat missions in the zone of the special military operation in Ukraine’ from the start of Putin’s active campaign on February 24.

‘He was distinguished by high professionalism, organisation and diligence, and a creative approach to solving problems,’ said the Russian Interior Ministry’s council of veterans.

He was a graduate of the Yekaterinburg Suvorov Military School in 1997.

The deaths are the latest in a huge toll of Russian top brass to be wiped out in Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Overall Russian losses are believed to be in excess of 30,000.

Postnov leaves behind a widow Ekaterina and daughter

Ukrainian servicemen ride BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle in the Donbas as fighting continues to rage

More than 500 civilians and an unknown number of soldiers are trapped inside the Azot factory after sheltering from a Russian bombardment (pictured last week)

More than 500 civilians and an unknown number of soldiers are trapped inside the Azot factory after sheltering from a Russian bombardment (pictured last week)

Ukrainian troops holed up in a chemical plant in Severodonetsk have been told to lay down their arms and surrender as Russia makes further ground in the Donbas.

More than 500 civilians and an unknown number of soldiers are trapped inside the Azot factory after sheltering from a Russian bombardment.

Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia’s National Defence Management Centre, told the Interfax news agency that Ukraine should ‘stop their senseless resistance and lay down arms’.

The Russian defence ministry announced a humanitarian corridor would be established for evacuations from the plant, saying it was ‘guided by the principles of humanity’.

Evacuees would be transported to the city of Svatovo in the separatist-held region of Lugansk, Moscow said.

A soldier of Ukraine's special operations unit runs while another covers his back on a forest road after they installed anti-tank mines

A soldier of Ukraine’s special operations unit runs while another covers his back on a forest road after they installed anti-tank mines

Black smoke is seen over the city of Lyman, Donetsk region, moving from the territory of the Luhansk region

Black smoke is seen over the city of Lyman, Donetsk region, moving from the territory of the Luhansk region

Homes and buildings are destroyed by a Russian military strike in the town of Dobropillia in Donetsk

Homes and buildings are destroyed by a Russian military strike in the town of Dobropillia in Donetsk

There was no response from Kyiv to the announcement, and in a video address Tuesday evening, Volodymyr Zelensky lamented ‘painful losses’ in the ongoing fighting.

‘But we must stay strong. This is our nation… Hanging in there in Donbas is crucial. Donbas is the key to deciding who will dominate in the coming weeks.’

Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said the civilians in Azot ‘can no longer stand it in the shelters, their psychological state is on edge’.

He said Russia controls 80 per cent of Severodonetsk and mass evacuations are now ‘simply not possible’.

Capturing Severodonetsk has become a key goal, as it would open the road to Sloviansk and another major city, Kramatorsk. 

An estimated 12,000 civilians remain in the city which has a population of 100,000. 

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has lost his 53rd colonel in the war in the latest heavy blow to his savage campaign.

Colonel Sergei Postnov (pictured) was killed on a combat mission earlier this week, according to reports

Colonel Sergei Postnov (pictured) was killed on a combat mission earlier this week, according to reports

He was a graduate of the Yekaterinburg Suvorov Military School in 1997, and believed to be in his 40s. He leaves behind a widow Ekaterina and daughter

He was a graduate of the Yekaterinburg Suvorov Military School in 1997, and believed to be in his 40s. He leaves behind a widow Ekaterina and daughter

He was part of a military propaganda unit in the Russian National Guard, which reports directly to Putin

He was part of a military propaganda unit in the Russian National Guard, which reports directly to Putin

He had been on active duty with Russian forces close to Kyiv, in Kharkiv as well as more recently in the Luhansk region

He had been on active duty with Russian forces close to Kyiv, in Kharkiv as well as more recently in the Luhansk region

Colonel Sergei Postnov was killed on a combat mission earlier this week, according to reports.

He was part of a military propaganda unit in the Russian National Guard, which reports directly to Putin.

He had been on active duty with Russian forces close to Kyiv, in Kharkiv as well as more recently in the Luhansk region.

An official statement said that his life was ‘cut short’ while on a mission in Ukraine.

It said he had ‘performed service and combat missions in the zone of the special military operation in Ukraine’ from the start of Putin’s active campaign.

‘He was distinguished by high professionalism, organisation and diligence, and a creative approach to solving problems,’ said the Russian Interior Ministry’s council of veterans.

A dog is seen near his building destroyed by Russian military strike, amid Russia's invasion on Ukraine in the town of Dobropillia

A dog is seen near his building destroyed by Russian military strike, amid Russia’s invasion on Ukraine in the town of Dobropillia

A Ukrainian service member walks at a position on the front line, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine

A Ukrainian service member walks at a position on the front line, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine

Ukraine has only received 10 per cent of the arms it had requested from the West, Kyiv's deputy defence minister said

Ukraine has only received 10 per cent of the arms it had requested from the West, Kyiv’s deputy defence minister said

He was a graduate of the Yekaterinburg Suvorov Military School in 1997, and believed to be in his 40s. He leaves behind a widow Ekaterina and daughter.

His death was the latest in a huge toll of Russian top brass to be wiped out in Putin’s war in Ukraine.

He is the 53rd colonel known to have died, while a minimum of 11 generals have also been slain.

Overall Russian losses are believed to be in excess of 30,000.

Speaking in The Hague, NATO chief Stoltenberg urged Western countries to send the Ukrainians more heavy armaments, as they ‘absolutely depend on that to be able to stand up against the brutal Russian invasion’.

Addressing a press conference after meeting the leaders of seven European NATO allies, he added that NATO officials would discuss coordinating further support including heavy weaponry at a meeting in Brussels Wednesday.

Zelensky meanwhile told reporters that he regretted what he called ‘the restrained behaviour of some leaders’ which, he said, had ‘slowed down arms supplies very much’.

Ukraine has only received 10 per cent of the arms it had requested from the West, Kyiv’s deputy defence minister said.

A Ukrainian service members eat at a position on the front line, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine

A Ukrainian service members eat at a position on the front line, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine

Capturing Severodonetsk has become a key goal, as it would open the road to Sloviansk and another major city, Kramatorsk

Capturing Severodonetsk has become a key goal, as it would open the road to Sloviansk and another major city, Kramatorsk

Ukrainian servicemen ride BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk

Ukrainian servicemen ride BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk

Lysychansk pensioner Valentina sat on the porch of her ground floor apartment, where she lives alone, her two walking sticks to hand.

‘It’s scary, very scary,’ said the 83-year-old former farm worker.

‘Why can’t they agree at last, for God’s sake, just shake hands?’

Along the road from Lysychansk to Kramatorsk, Ukrainian forces were transporting more weapons systems to the front, while specialist vehicles carried tanks for repair.

In the town of Novodruzhesk, close to Lysychansk, there was still a smell of burning and smoke from houses that had been destroyed by fire from shelling at the weekend.

‘It’s not safe anywhere, it just depends on the time of day, that’s all,’ said a soldier standing at a fire station with a skull logo on his sleeve.

As tensions soar with the West, Russia announced it was blacklisting 49 British citizens, including defence officials and prominent reporters and editors from the BBC, The Financial Times and The Guardian.

Ukrainian soldiers carry out demining works, removing shells and unexploded rockets in Kharkiv

Ukrainian soldiers carry out demining works, removing shells and unexploded rockets in Kharkiv

The inside of a wreckage of a burned out van that triggered an anti-tank mine, killing its three occupants, lies by the side of a dirt track in Andriyivka

The inside of a wreckage of a burned out van that triggered an anti-tank mine, killing its three occupants, lies by the side of a dirt track in Andriyivka

Russian soldiers guard an area next to a field of wheat as foreign journalists work in the Zaporizhzhia region

Russian soldiers guard an area next to a field of wheat as foreign journalists work in the Zaporizhzhia region

The Russian foreign ministry said that the journalists targeted were ‘involved in the deliberate dissemination of false and one-sided information’.

In New York, a senior UN official warned Tuesday that Ukrainian children should not be adopted in Russia, where several thousand young people are believed to have been moved since Moscow’s February invasion.

‘We’re reiterating, including to the Russian Federation, that adoption should never occur during or immediately after emergencies,’ Asfhan Khan, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) regional director for Europe and Central Asia, told reporters.

Such children cannot be assumed to be orphans and their movement must be voluntary, Khan added.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, said it had not received a request from London to intervene in the case of two Britons sentenced to death by pro-Moscow separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine.

Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, along with Moroccan Brahim Saadun, were convicted of acting as mercenaries for Ukraine by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

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