Three of Russian president Vladimir Putin's top invasion leaders have been killed in Ukraine.
The death of Colonel Sergei Sukharev, who lead the 331st Guards Parachute Assault Regiment, has been confirmed by Russian media.
And military intelligence officer Sergey Vishnyakov, of the GRU’s 22nd Separate Special Forces Brigade, is also believed to have died.
A Ukraine's Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security spokesman said, in a slightly sarcastic statement: “Commander of the Kostroma Airborne Regiment, Colonel Sergei Sukharev got lost in the ‘military exercises’, but returned home the right way.
"It is known that Sukharev's regiment had fought against Ukraine outside the city Ilovaisk in Donbas back in 2014 and also took part in both Chechen wars and the Russian-Georgian war of 2008.”
He only took over the brigade in October, 2021, just 18 months after his predecessor Oleg Shmelev took charge.
His second in command, Major Sergei Krylov was also killed in the “military exercise”.
All three deaths were confirmed by Ukraine's NEXTA News organisation.
The loss of three major players for Putin comes days after the Russian despot was rortedly furious after another close ally has turned against him.
Ukrainian media quoted Fan Xianrong, China's ambassador to Ukraine, as saying that China “would never attack Ukraine” and that the country would provide "economic aid" to the country.
It comes just 24 hours after Putin was, once again, left humiliated after the mayor of Ukrainian city Melitopol was rescued from captivity overnight.
According to several news outlets in the country, he said: "China is a friendly country for the Ukrainian people.
“As an ambassador, I can responsibly say that China will forever be a good force for Ukraine, both economically and politically.
“We will always respect your state, we will develop relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
“China will never attack Ukraine, we will help, in particular in the economic direction. In one year, our country imports goods from around the world worth more than $3trillion (£2.28trillion).
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