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Russian General Reportedly Killed in Ukraine

Lieutenant General Oleg Tsokov. Alexey Nikolsky / TASS

A Russian general was reportedly killed in occupied southeastern Ukraine, Ukrainian and Russian officials said Tuesday.

Lieutenant General Oleg Tsokov was targeted in a Monday night missile strike on a hotel in the Russian-occupied resort city of Berdiansk, according to Petro Andryushchenko, an aide to Mariupol's Ukrainian mayor now operating outside the Russian-held city.

“It was known for some time that the enemy's military leadership was living there,” Andryushchenko said on the Telegram messaging app. 

Andrei Gurulyov, a member of the Russian State Duma’s Defense Committee and a former military commander, confirmed Tsokov’s death on a state-run political talk show that aired Tuesday evening. 

“[Tsokov] died a heroic death,” the lawmaker said.

“This man deserves enormous respect, he had unimaginable authority in the [Russian] armed forces,” Gurulyov added.

Russian military authorities have yet to comment on Tsokov’s reported death.

Western intelligence has placed the overall death toll of Russian generals in Ukraine at more than 20 as of February 2023.

The disproportionately high death rate of Russian generals and high-ranking officers has been linked to a number of causes, including their use of unsecured communications and movement to the front lines to boost soldiers' morale.

Gurulyov also confirmed reports by pro-war military bloggers that Tsokov had been wounded in northeastern Ukraine in September.

“He was really badly wounded last year, he was barely pulled out and, in fact, did not have to return to the front due to his health condition,” the lawmaker said.

“But he said 'No, guys, I’ll be there'."

Russian state media said Tsokov was a veteran of military campaigns in the Caucasus and Syria.

He was sanctioned by the European Union, Britain, Japan and New Zealand for his role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Tsokov was said to have been promoted to the rank of lieutenant general by presidential decree in February.

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