Vitaly Gerasimov: second Russian general killed, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense | Ukraine

A Russian general has been killed in fighting around Kharkiv, according to Ukrainian intelligence, making him the second general the Russian military has lost in Ukraine in a week.

The intelligence branch of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, chief of staff of the 41st Army, was killed outside the eastern city of Kharkiv. Ukraine, along with other senior officers.

The ministry also broadcast what it claimed was a conversation between two Russian FSB officers discussing the death and complaining that their secure communications were no longer working inside Ukraine.

‘Don’t be afraid of anyone’: Zelenskiy says he will stay in Kiev until the war is won – video

Investigative reporting agency Bellingcat said it confirmed Gerasimov’s death with a Russian source. Its executive director, Christo Grozev, said he also identified the senior FSB officer in the intercepted conversation.

Gerasimov participated in the Second Chechen War, the Russian military operation in Syria and the annexation of Crimea, winning medals in these campaigns.

If confirmed, Gerasimov would be the second Russian 41st Army general to die in a week during Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. In early March, its deputy commander, Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, was confirmed by Russian media to have been killed.

The loss of high-ranking officers came at a time when much of Putin’s invasion force was bogged down by logistical problems, poor morale and Ukrainian resistance. The failure of its encrypted communication system could be another blow.

“During the call, you hear the Ukraine-based FSB officer asking his boss if he can talk through the secure Era system. The boss says Era is not working,” Grozev said on Twitter. Era is a super expensive cryptophone system that [Russia’s defence ministry] introduced in 2021 with great fanfare. He guaranteed [to] work “in all conditions”.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the war was “like a nightmare” for Russia and hailed Ukraine’s resistance effort.

His comments came after Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, accused Vladimir Putin of having a plan to “brutalize Ukraine” by bombing cities.

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