Russians Mourn ‘Best’ General as Ukraine Counteroffensive Gains Ground

Armed Forces of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters
Armed Forces of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters

Ukraine’s counteroffensive has reportedly claimed the life of a Russian general described as one of the army’s “most effective military leaders.”

Major General Sergei Goryachev, Chief of Staff of the 35th Combined Arms Army, was killed Monday in a missile strike in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, according to pro-Kremlin war reporter Yury Kotyonok. His death fell on Russia Day, the country’s national holiday.

“War takes away the best,” Kotyonok wrote on Telegram on Tuesday. “The army today lost one of the brightest and most effective military leaders, who combined the highest professionalism with personal courage,” he said.

Vladimir Rogov, one of the Russian proxy leaders in the Zaporizhzhia region, also took to Telegram to mourn the loss of Goryachev, expressing his “most sincere condolences” to the general’s family. Pro-Kremlin military bloggers wrote that Goryachev was killed in a Storm Shadow strike along with several other high-ranking Russian officers, though none of their deaths have been confirmed by Russia's Defense Ministry.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Major General Sergei Goryachev </p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">via Telegram </div>

Major General Sergei Goryachev

via Telegram

“Usually, colonels, lieutenant colonels, and majors who provide activities at headquarters die along with a general,” Ukrainian military expert Mykhailo Zhirokhov told Current Time. “So, such an attack on the command post of the 35th Army before a big offensive is a very serious ticket to success.”

Goryachev appears to be the first Russian general killed this year, and the 10th killed in the course of the war, according to independent Russian media.

The news comes as Ukraine’s military began releasing videos from reclaimed villages in the Donetsk region, including Makarivka and Blahodatne.

“The enemy is doing everything to hold onto the positions they captured. They are actively using assault and army aviation, conducting intense artillery fire. Our troops on the offensive face continuous minefields, which are connected to anti-tank ditches,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday. Seven other villages have been reclaimed from Russia in the past week, the ministry said.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces also announced advances near Bakhmut, Berdyansk, and Toretsk, though Ukraine has not yet managed to break through Russia’s main front line.

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