VLADIMIR Putin has lost another General in his war against Ukraine, reports claim.
Lt. Gen. Alexander Tatarenko, 63, was the most senior of 10 military officers killed in a suspected Storm Shadow missile strike on the Belbek airbase in occupied Crimea.
He was in charge of the facility, which was used for strikes on Ukraine and to strengthen Russia’s grip on the Black Sea peninsula.
The blast – recorded on video – is said to have damaged a Russian radar and communications complex, as well as military equipment at the base near Sevastopol.
Unconfirmed reports say there was some “collateral damage” to Russian war planes.
Russia has not announced Tatarenko’s death in the attack two days ago – but it has now been reported on Telegram channels.
Spy Dossier channel reported that “seven British-French-made Storm Shadow/SCALP ALCMs were launched towards the airfield.
“Four were shot down by air defence forces, three hit the target.”
In particular, between 5:31pm and 5:42pm on Wednesday “two missiles hit the command post of the 38th Fighter Aviation Regiment [military unit 80159, Belbek].
“Another hit the airfield communications point.”
The report said: “Ten military personnel were killed as a result of the strike.
“Among the dead is the commander of the aviation squadron of the fighter regiment, Alexander Tatarenko.”
Crimean Wind – a Ukrainian channel – reported: “Ten Russian military personnel were liquidated, including the commander of the aviation squadron, Lieutenant General Alexander Tatarenko.”
The missiles came by a new route, over the sea, rather than overland, said reports.
He is believed to be the 13th Russian general killed in the 23-month war.
Tatarenko was married and is believed to have retired but returned to serve during Putin’s war.
He was a pilot on Su-17, Su-27 and An-26 planes.
He graduated in 1981 from the Stavropol Higher Military Aviation School of Air Defence Pilots and Navigators, in 1994 from the Military Academy of Air Defence, and in 2008 from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.
In late November, Russia lost Major-General Vladimir Zavadsky, 45, deputy commander of the 14th Army Corps.
Reports said he was killed by an exploding Russian mine.
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