Published On: Tue, Mar 12th, 2024

Ukraine ‘liquidates’ Putin’s hand-picked military commander in devastating airstrike | World | News

A senior Russian military officer installed as the commander of ’s airborne troops has been killed in an on a tanker in the Dnipro river, Ukrainian forces have claimed.

Mykola Oleschuk, commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of , shared footage of the attack on the tanker, Mechanic Pogodin, via his Telegram channel yesterday.

He commented: “I thank the pilots for the successful combat work against the enemy control point!”

The airstrike is believed to have been carried out using either a modified Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), supplied by the USA, or a French Armement Air-Sol Modulaire (AASM).

Ukrainian news website Oboz UA, citing Ukrainian intelligence, reported that Colonel-General Mykhailo Teplinsky, commander of the airborne troops of the Russian Federation, was among those “liquidated”.

Ukrainian military blogger Oleksandr Kovalenko, suggested the names of other high-profile casualties would also emerge.

Also writing on Telegram, he said: “The first ones that surface so far at the level of rumours cannot help but please this cold evening. We are waiting for confirmation, and in general it is just wonderful.”

Teplinsky, 55, only replaced Colonel-General Oleg Makarevich as commander of the Dnepr Battlegroup in October, according to Russian state news agency Tass.

A report carried on the Institute for the Study of War at the time said the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) had not announced or confirmed reports of Makarevich’s dismissal and was “unlikely to do so given its tendency to regularly conceal high-profile military command changes”.

It added: “One Russian blogger claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed Makarevich during his recent visit to the Southern Military District (SMD) headquarters in Rostov-on-Don on October 19.

“The blogger also claimed that Teplinsky was effectively demoted from his position as deputy overall theatre commander, although it is unclear if Teplinsky still held this position.”

The report added: “A Kremlin-affiliated milblogger claimed that rumours about Makarevich’s dismissal emerged over the last week and that his removal was “long overdue” due to his handling of the military situation in the Kherson direction.

“The milblogger added that Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Colonel General Alexei Kim effectively commands the entire Joint Grouping of Russian Forces in Ukraine. ISW cannot independently verify these claims.”

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