President Vladimir Putin has lost his ninth colonel, as a tank commander becomes the latest senior Russian officer to die in the Ukraine conflict.

In the ongoing Ukraine war, Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost his ninth colonel, as a tank commander becomes the latest senior Russian officer to be killed.

Colonel Alexander Bespalov was laid to rest in the closed Russian city of Ozersk on Friday, according to a local statement, who said he was killed “during a special military operation in Ukraine,” a word Moscow uses to avoid mentioning “war.”

Bespalov was the commander of the 59th Guards Tank Regiment, according to the statement, and was the latest top Russian military leader to be killed in the battle, in which Kyiv’s soldiers have surprised the world with their tenacious resistance.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine estimates that Russia has sent almost 19,000 troops to their deaths. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Russian troops have left Kyiv to refocus Russia’s military efforts on eastern Ukraine.

However, according to a senior US defense official, the Pentagon has assessed that some of the Russian combat units that have evacuated from the Kyiv area in recent days are so badly damaged and depleted that their combat utility is in doubt.

Some commentators believe that the focus on the Donbas and the commitment to de-escalate is really an attempt to put a positive spin on reality: Moscow’s ground forces have been prevented in their attempt to conquer the capital and other important cities, and have suffered severe losses in the process.

With a 2015 law making all deaths in battle a state secret, the Kremlin has a policy of downplaying military casualties, and any speech disparaging the military was criminalized last year.

His funeral announcement has already been removed.

Ozersk is a closed Russian city, which means that getting in and out is extremely difficult.

‘It is impossible to put into words what anguish you feel when you lose a close and dear person,’ Tatyana Karsakova wrote in a tribute to the colonel. ‘Dear brother, you will live on in our hearts forever!’

‘I did not know and did not meet a more deserving guy who had the right to call himself an officer than my first commander Alexander Bespalov, who became my buddy and whose family I was well familiar with,’ a fellow officer stated.

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