Vladimir Putin ‘deeply shocked’ as Ukrainian snipers kill 9 top Russian army commanders (SEE NAMES)

President Putin

NINE of Vladimir Putin’s military commanders have now been killed in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

They are among the 12,000 Russian troops Ukraine now claims it has killed, as one Kremlin official has reportedly described the campaign to subdue its neighbour as a “clusterf***”.

The latest senior commander to die is Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, who was killed in fighting outside Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv.

Gerasimov was awarded a medal for “capturing” the disputed province of Crimea in 2014, and also received medals after leading troops in Syria and in the second Chechen war.

Three other top commanders were killed in recent fighting in Ukraine.

Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Safronov, who led a Marine brigade, died along with Lieutenant Colonel Denis Glebov and Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky, who led air assault troops.

Safronov and Glebov were killed when Ukrainian forces recaptured the city of Chuhuiv, while Zizevsky was killed in the south of Ukraine.

Their deaths come after those of other senior Russian commanders, including two other generals.

Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky was killed by a Ukrainian sniper during the fighting for Hostomel Airfield about 30 miles outside the capital Kyiv.

And General Magomed Tushaev died when his Chechen special forces column, including 56 tanks, was obliterated near Hostomel, north-east of the city.

The Chechen soldiers are known as “hunters” and each of them was reportedly given a pack of cards with senior Ukrainian officials that Moscow wants dead.

Also among the Russian dead is warlord Vladimir Zhonga who led the Sparta Battalion, a Neo-Nazi military unit that has the Kremlin’s backing.

The group is behind a wave of deadly attacks against Ukrainian troops and has been waging war in the Donbass region since hostilities broke out eight years ago.

Two other unnamed Russian senior commanders have also been killed in the fighting.

Kremlin officials have allegedly made “apocalyptic” predictions about the conflict in Ukraine, describing the invasion on February 24 as a “mistake”.

They were “carefully enunciating the word clusterf***” when describing the invasion, Business Insider reports.

After the latest Russian setback, Ukrainian colonel Lieutenant General Serhiy Shaptala said his troops had seized Chuhuiv, killing large numbers of Putin’s men.

“In the course of hostilities, the city of Chuhuiv was liberated,” the General Staff said on Facebook.

“The occupiers suffered heavy losses in personnel and equipment.”

Footage from the scene shows a “Z” marked military vehicle with the Ukrainian flag while chanting can be heard.

In another clip, believed to have been filmed Chaplynka, Kakhovka Raion two men can be seen urinating on a Russian “Z” marked tank.

Chuhuiv, a small city of 30,000 people 22 miles southeast of Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv, was one of the first taken by the Russians.

A week ago, a young boy was killed in the city after heavy shelling struck an apartment block.

The image of a woman with a heavily-bandaged and bleeding face following the shelling in Chuhuiv became one of the defining images of the conflict so far.

As the slaughter continues Ukraine claims that Russia has lost 12,000 troops and more than 2,000 army vehicles – although US intelligence says the number of the dead is around 4,500.

Regardless of the true figure, Putin is believed to have been deeply shocked by the ferocity of the heroic Ukrainians.

In just a single day on Saturday, he reportedly lost nine aircraft.

Russia has issued a list of three key demands on Ukraine to end the war.

A Kremlin spokesman called for Ukraine to cease military action, change its constitution to become a neutral country, acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory and recognise the separatist republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Dmitry Peskov told Reuters that Russia had told Ukraine it was ready to halt its military action “in a moment” if Kyiv met its conditions.

And he insisted Russia wasn’t seeking any further territorial claims in Ukraine.

“We really are finishing the demilitarisation of Ukraine,” he said. “We will finish it. But the main thing is that Ukraine ceases its military action.

“They should stop their military action and then no one will shoot. They should make amendments to their constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc.

“We have also spoken about how they should recognise that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognise that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states. And that’s it. It will stop in a moment.”

Last month, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed Russia’s territorial claims in an address to his people ahead of the invasion on February 24.

“Both Donbas and Crimea will return to Ukraine,” he said. “Exclusively through diplomacy. We do not encroach on what’s not ours, but we will not give up our land.”

Meanwhile, officials in Kyiv warned Russia had now amassed a big enough force to try to seize the capital.

And around 30 Tochka-U tactical missile systems have been brought to Belarus from Russia ready for a feared all-out assault.

— The Sun

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