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Deputy commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet reportedly killed in action

Russia's Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Captain 1st Rank Andrei Nikolayevich Paly killed in Ukraine. (Mikhail Razvozhayev/Telegram/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The deputy commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been killed in battle near the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, the Kremlin-installed governor of the Russia-occupied city of Sevastopol said.

“Captain 1st Rank Andrei Nikolayevich Paly was killed in the fighting [near Mariupol],” Mikhail Razvozhayev said on his Telegram channel.

Reports said the general was 51 years old.

The Russian Navy did not respond to a request for comment.

Sevastopol, a port city on the Crimea Peninsula, is the base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Crimea was seized and annexed by Russia in 2014.

If confirmed, it would mark the latest fatality among Russia’s top military officers following reports of several being killed in action during the invasion of Ukraine.

On March 19, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy claimed that the commander of the Russian Eighth Army, Lieutenant General Andrei Mordvichev, had been killed at the Chornobaivka airfield near the city of Kherson.

The Ukrainian Presidency at the time said the general was the fifth top-ranking officer killed since the invasion began on February 24, an unprecedented number of fatalities among a military leadership in such a short period of time.

The claims could not be independently confirmed.