Six high-ranking Russian officers may have been killed in Ukraine in just a week amid reports a senior general was killed by a landmine.
Vladimir Zavadsky, 45, the deputy commander of the 14th Army Corps, died in occupied Ukraine on Tuesday, according to the pro-Kremlin newspaper Lenta.
News of his death appeared to be confirmed by the Moscow Higher Combined Arms Command School, the military academy where many senior Russian officers studied, in a now-deleted post.
Russia’s defence ministry has yet to confirm the report.
According to the Telegram channel, VChK-OGPU, he is said to have died in a blast caused by a landmine placed by Putin’s own forces to target Ukrainian troops.
“The investigation is considering the possibility of an explosion of a mine that was previously installed by a neighbouring unit in order to combat the enemy’s [sabotage and reconnaissance unit],” it said.
If the death is confirmed, it would be the sixth high-ranking Russian officer killed in the past week alone.
Ukraine’s National Resistance Centre said earlier this week that at least five other high-ranking officers were killed in a Ukrainian airstrike on the Russia-occupied village of Yuvileine in Kherson.
The news comes as ten people were hurt in overnight Russian missile attacks in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region.
Ukrainian interior minister Ihor Klymenko said Russia fired six missiles at three settlements in the region, most of which is occupied by Russian forces.
“Pokrovsk, Novohrodivka and Myrnohrad came under fire. The shelling injured 10 people, including 4 children. Five more people are being searched for under the rubble," the minister said.
He said among the victims were a family with two children and two 13-year-old children. An apartment block, nine private houses, a police station, cars and garages were damaged.
Mr Klymenko said a police paramedic helped a man with an injured baby get out from under the rubble.
The Ukrainian military said earlier on Thursday its air defence shot down 14 out of 20 drones in a Russian overnight strike.