LONDON — A Russian general was killed during a battle in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, a Russian state journalist reported.
According to a translation by the BBC of the journalist’s account, posted on the social media site Telegram, Major Gen. Roman Kutuzov was killed when heading an assault on a Ukrainian residential area. The journalist, Alexander Sladkov, of the state-owned Russia 1, showered praise on Kutuzov’s bravery but did not elaborate on when, where or how the general was killed.
“The general had led soldiers into attack as if there are not enough colonels,” Sladkov said in a statement to Telegram. “On the other hand, Roman was the same commander as everyone else, albeit a higher rank.”
Kutuzov had been reportedly commanding soldiers around the village of Mykolaivka when Ukrainian artillery battered the Russian positions, according to the Moscow Times. Hours later, Sladkov posted about the general’s death, the outlet reported.
Russia’s defense ministry has not confirmed the death.
According to Sladkov, Kutuzov was the fourth Russian general killed since Russia invaded its smaller neighbor, on Feb. 24. But the Ukrainian military has previously claimed to have killed at least 12 top Russian military leaders with snipers, bombings and other weapons.
According to reports assessing Western military intelligence, the Russian military’s centralized command structure has led to more senior officers serving closer to the frontlines to direct their offensives. The Kremlin initially sputtered in its goal of toppling the regime in Kyiv but has redeployed its forces to focus on Ukraine’s eastern regions, where it has been slowly gaining territory amid deadly artillery battles.
The New York Times reported last month that U.S. intelligence had aided Ukraine in targeting Russian military officials.