Russia loses ANOTHER colonel… who had been sent into the field to replace the previous one Ukraine killed: Officer dies in river-crossing ambush
- Colonel Denis Kozlov, 40, died in failed advance across the Donets River, Donbas
- Kozlov replaced Colonel Sergei Porokhnya, 45, who died in Ukraine on 14 March
- Kozlov killed after Ukrainian forces launched missile strikes on Donets River
Vladimir Putin has suffered another grievous blow after he lost his 42nd colonel in his bloody war in Ukraine.
Colonel Denis Kozlov, 40, was the second commander of the 12th Separate Guards Engineers of Keningsbersko-Gorodokskaya Red Banner Brigade to die in the conflict.
Kozlov had replaced Colonel Sergei Porokhnya, 45, who was killed in Ukraine on 14 March.
But the officer was among Russian troops to perish on May 11 in a failed advance across the Donets River at Bilohorivka, west of the city of Lysychansk, in the Donbas region, after Ukrainian troops successfully ambushed them.
Colonel Denis Kozlov, 40, was the second commander of the 12th Separate Guards Engineers of Keningsbersko-Gorodokskaya Red Banner Brigade to die in the conflict
Kozlov had replaced Colonel Sergei Porokhnya, 45, (pictured) who was killed in Ukraine on 14 March
Kozlov, who was guiding a pontoon ferry across the river at the time, was killed after Ukrainian forces launched missile strikes on the area.
Satellite images laid bare the scale of Russia’s failure with the remains of two pontoon bridges seen drifting in the Donets river, surrounded by the ruins of destroyed tanks and armoured vehicles.
It appears Russian commanders were attempting to surround Lysychansk – and its sister city of Severodonetsk – with the crossing, but saw their sneak-attack turn into a massacre when Ukraine correctly guessed their plans.
‘Maxim’, a Twitter user claiming to be a Ukrainian military engineer, says he identified the spot where Russia was most-likely to try crossing the river on May 7 and told his commanders to listen out for the sound of tugboat engines pushing a pontoon bridge into place as a sure sign that a crossing was imminent.
On the morning of May 8 Russia blanketed the river with smoke by burning nearby fields and throwing smoke grenades, he said, but commanders detected the sound of boat engines and called in artillery strikes which caused devastating losses.
Kozlov was posthumously decorated with the Russian Order of Courage, and laid to rest in his hometown Murom.
Satellite images laid bare the scale of Russia’s failure with the remains of two pontoon bridges seen drifting in the Donets river, surrounded by the ruins of destroyed tanks and armoured vehicles
His death – the 42nd known colonel to perish in the war – highlights the huge toll suffered by Putin’s top brass.
Nine Russian generals are also known to have died with reports that the US has assisted Ukraine with intelligence to allow them to target Putin’s top brass.
The death rate is around one colonel every two days.
In March, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Blinov, 42, was killed but news of his death was strenuously denied by Russian officials.
His death was confirmed in May by a picture on his grave in Volgograd, south-western Russia.
Blinov was a married father of three. A family friend said: ‘For us it is just a shock.’ He served in a motorised rifle unit.
In March, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Blinov, 42, was killed but news of his death was strenuously denied by Russian officials
Lt-Col Fezul Bichikaev, 36, died in Ukraine on May 2, 2022, becoming the 39th Russian colonel to die in Ukraine
Earlier this month, news emerged of Putin’s 39th killed colonel Fezul Bichikaev, 36.
The Lieutenant Colonel was a high-flying elite soldier reportedly killed on a secret intelligence mission.
The father-of-three was portrayed as a hero who was killed near Kharkiv ‘with a machine gun in his hands covering his subordinates’, according to reports in Russia.
The actual toll of dead Russian high ranking officers be higher since the defence ministry has acknowledged few deaths.
Bichikaev was one of Russia’s youngest colonels, second in command of his regiment, and his death amounted to ‘a heavy, irreparable loss’, said the report.
Bichikaev’s death came a day after the disclosure of the death of Lt-Col Fyodor Solovyov, 44, in the Donbas.
Solovyov was commander of the howitzer self-propelled artillery regiment of the 127th motorised rifle division in Putin’s army.
He was buried with full military honours and a triple volley of guns in Chunaki village, Penza region.
Four days earlier Lt-Col Eduard Dmitriev, 44, a tank commander, was reported to have been killed.
Russia’s fallen generals
General Magomed Tushaev: Chechen special forces leader who had led ‘anti-gay purges’ killed in an ambush near Hostomel on February 26
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky: Deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District killed during a special operation by a sniper on March 4
General Magomed Tushaev (right) was blown up in the early stages of the war by Ukraine after they joined the Russian invasion
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov: First deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army who took part in operations in Syria and Crimea, killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Major General Andrei Kolesnikov: Commander of the 29th Combined Army Army killed on March 11
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov (left) was first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, taking part in operations in Syria and Crimea. He was killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Major General Oleg Mityaev, died fighting near the city of Mariupol on 16 March
Lt Gen Andrey Mordvichev, killed in the Kherson region on March 19
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army, was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25
Major General Vladimir Frolov was deputy commander of the 8th Guards Army in east Ukraine. His grave in St Petersburg was pictured two weeks ago
Major General Andrey Simonov, an electronics warfare expert, died on May 1
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army. He was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25
The grave of Major General Vladimir Frolov in Serafimovskoe Cemetery, St Petersburg. The circumstances of his death remain unclear
Major General Andrey Simonov was an electronic warfare commander in Putin’s army
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