VIDEO | Russia has released a video of the commander whom the Ukrainians claim is dead
The Russian Ministry of Defense released a video showing the commander of the Black Sea Fleet at a conference, despite Ukraine claims to have killed him. It is not clear when the video was recorded on which Viktor Sokolov appears on a video link with the Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu, writes BBC.
The ministry said that the meeting with senior officials took place on Tuesday. Ukrainian special forces said Monday that Adm. Sokolov and 33 other officers were killed in a missile attack on the fleet headquarters in Sevastopol, occupied Crimea.
The Russian MOD released a video of top military officials meeting with Shoigu, including a short clip showing the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, appearing on video conference.
Ukraine claimed he was killed in a strike in Sevastopol last week. pic.twitter.com/xUO0a2xIP3
- Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) September 26, 2023
They did not name the admiral directly, nor did they offer any evidence that he had died. Now they say they are "clarifying" the reports.
"As is known, 34 officers died as a result of a missile attack on the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation. "Many bodies have not yet been identified due to the condition of the body parts," the statement said.
This suggests that Ukraine is backtracking after the release of the Russian Defense Ministry clip. The statement now cites "open sources" for its claim that the commander was one of the 34.
This is a definite change of tone after yesterday's confident claims. Ukraine's new defense minister, Rustem Umerov, told CNN that if Sukolov is dead, "that's good news for everybody," but that's far from confirmation.
Admiral Viktor Sokolov appeared in footage of a board meeting of the Russian Ministry of Defense, reportedly on September 26, 2023. pic.twitter.com/01ennBvekE
— KIU • Russian Officers killed in Ukraine 🇨🇿🇺🇦 (@KilledInUkraine) September 26, 2023
There is a chance that Ukraine acted on intelligence and targeted a key meeting in the heart of occupied Crimea.
The significance of last Friday's strike should not be underestimated, but for Kiev to overextend itself in its alleged achievements would be a careless mistake in this continuing information war.
The eight-minute video shows a Defense Ministry collegium, which is said to have taken place on Tuesday morning. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is seen talking to senior officials in a conference room in Moscow.
He has also been seen briefly on several occasions by video link with the commanders of Russia's five fleets, including the Black Sea Fleet, none of which he speaks to.
Facial recognition software shows a match between other images of Commander Sokolov and the man in the latest video, suggesting it is him.