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Russia shows alleged footage of Black Sea Fleet commander previously reported killed

by Martin Fornusek September 26, 2023 3:22 PM 2 min read
Apparent footage of Admiral Viktor Sokolov (left), the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, joining a meeting of senior Russian commanders via video call on Sept. 26, 2023. (Source: Russian Defense Ministry)
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Russia's Defense Ministry published a video on Sept. 26 of a meeting between military leadership with Admiral Viktor Sokolov, previously reported by Ukraine as killed, joining the meeting through a video call.

The Kyiv Independent couldn't immediately verify the date the meeting took place.

The ministry published a video and photographs of the meeting, showing Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu addressing senior Russian officers, some present in person while others joining online.

Sokolov, the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet whom the Ukrainian military reported as killed in a Sevastopol strike on Sept. 22, is only seen on the screen and does not speak throughout the video.

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The Special Operations Forces Command of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported that last week's strike against the Black Sea Fleet's headquarters in Sevastopol in occupied Crimea killed 34 Russian officers, including Sokolov.

The Ukrainian military added that some 105 Russian soldiers had been injured in the attack.

In response to the footage published by the Russian Defense Ministry, the Special Operations Forces Command said it would "clarify the information" on Sokolov's reported death.

The military said that the news on the admiral's demise came from "available sources," adding that it was impossible to identify all the bodies in the aftermath of the attack due to their extensive injuries.

Both Kyiv and Moscow confirmed that the headquarters was hit during the strike. According to Sky News, the attack was carried out using long-range Storm Shadow missiles.

Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine's military intelligence, said in an interview with the Voice of America that the list of wounded in the attack included senior officers such as commander of Russian forces in Zaporizhzhia Oblast General Alexander Romanchuk and General Oleg Tsekov.

The Kyiv Independent couldn't varify this claim.

Military: 34 Russian Black Sea Fleet officers, including commander, killed in Sevastopol strike
Last week’s strike against the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol killed 34 Russian officers, including the fleet’s commander, and injured 105 more soldiers, the Special Operations Forces Command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Sept. 25.
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