Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Directorate said late Monday that Ukrainian forces killed a Russian Major General, along with several senior Russian army officers, in fighting near Kharkiv.
“Vitaliy Gerasimova was eliminated – Russian military commander, Major General, Chief of Staff and First Deputy Commander of the 41st Army of the Central Military District of Russia,” the directorate said in a statement on Facebook.
The statement added that Gerasimov was a participant in the Second Chechen War as well as Russia’s military action in Syria.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Vitaliy Gerasimov had any relation to Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s General of the Army and Chief of the General Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces. Valery Gerasimov is one of Putin’s closest advisors and a figure named in the first round of U.S. sanctions against Russia on Feb. 25.
Last week, Ukrainian forces reportedly killed Russian Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky after a Russian social media post by a Russian military officer group member.
“With great pain, we learned the tragic news of the death of our friend, Major General Andrey Sukhovetsky, on the territory of Ukraine during the special operation,” Sergei Chipilev wrote, according to a translation reported by English-language Russian media Pravda.ru. “We express our deepest condolences to his family.”
Volodymyr Omelyan, Ukraine’s former minister of infrastructure who joined Ukrainian forces in fighting in Kyiv, told Fox News on Thursday of Sukhovetsky’s death, “The fact is, we killed him.”
Early Monday, Ukraine claimed to have killed more than 11,000 Russian troops. Additionally, it claims to have destroyed 46 Russian planes and 68 helicopters, 454 Russian vehicles, 290 tanks, 999 armored combat vehicles, and three boats.
A senior U.S. defense official said on Monday that Ukraine has put up “a very stiff resistance” against invading Russian forces that have “basically stalled” their advancement over the weekend.
The official said that nearly 100 percent of Russian forces that had previously amassed near Ukraine’s borders in recent months are now deployed inside Ukraine. Previous U.S. estimates said 150,000 troops and 127 battalion groups were amassed around Ukraine before Russia’s invasion.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg predicted on Friday that the battle in Ukraine would intensify and lead to more death.
“The days to come are likely to be worse, with more death, more suffering, and more destruction, as the Russian armed forces bring in heavier weaponry and continue their attacks across the country,” Stoltenberg said.