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Russian Navy Commander Reported Killed in Ukrainian Missile Strike Appears in Video

Black Sea Fleet commander Viktor Sokolov (top right). Russian Defense Ministry

The commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet has appeared in a video published by the Defense Ministry on Tuesday following claims by Kyiv that he was killed in a recent missile strike.

Ukraine said earlier this week it had killed Admiral Viktor Sokolov and 33 officers in an unprecedented strike on the fleet's naval headquarters in the annexed Crimean peninsula on Friday. 

However, photos and video shared by the Defense Ministry on Tuesday showed Sokolov wearing military attire and attending a top brass meeting alongside the commanders of other Russian Navy branches via videoconference.

In response to the video's release, the Ukrainian military said it was "clarifying information" about the admiral's alleged death in Friday's strike.

The Russian military did not draw specific attention to Sokolov in the video, whose date of recording appears to have been Tuesday morning Moscow time based on timestamps shown in certain fragments. 

Defense Minister Shoigu, who chaired the meeting, reported on the deaths of more than 17,000 Ukrainian soldiers and the destruction of more than 2,700 weapons since the beginning of September.

“The Ukrainian armed forces are suffering serious losses along the entire frontline,” Shoigu said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier Tuesday that questions about Sokolov’s reported death should be addressed to the Defense Ministry.

Moscow has not directly denied or confirmed Kyiv’s claims about the death toll from Friday's missile attack.

AFP contributed reporting to this article.

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