The commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, died in Ukraine’s barrage on occupied Crimea last week, Kyiv said Monday.
“After the defeat of the headquarters of the Russian armed forces, 34 officers died, including the commander of the Russian armed forces. Another 105 occupiers were wounded. The headquarters building cannot be restored,” Ukraine’s special operations forces said Monday.
In an initial statement after the attack, the Russian defense ministry said it had shot down five incoming missiles and only one serviceman was killed, though the fleet’s headquarters were damaged.
But rumors about Sokolov’s death circulated online and Ukraine jumped Monday at the chance to confirm the speculation. POLITICO has not independently verified the claims.
The attack was the latest in Ukraine’s quest to liberate occupied Crimea, which Russian President Vladimir Putin seized in 2014. Two weeks ago, Ukraine wrecked a Russian submarine in the port of Sevastopol and also regained control of strategically important oil and gas drilling platforms located in the Black Sea.