Ukrainian officials said an attack on a key Russian command center in the eastern town of Izyum on Saturday night killed around 200 Russian soldiers, including Major General Andrei Simonov, but narrowly missed the head of state. -major of the Russian army, Gen Valery Gerasimov, who had just completed a secret visit to the army and the airborne command center. Previous unconfirmed reports suggested that Gerasimov was injured in the strike.
Two American officials tell The New York Times that Gerasimov had been in eastern Ukraine for a few days, a rare stop for Russia’s top uniformed officer, but could not provide any information about the attack on School No. 12, the center of the Russian command of Izyum. A senior Ukrainian official told the Time his country had learned of Gerasimov’s visit to the front lines, but that the general was already returning to Russia when the rockets hit School No. 12.
“The decision to destroy this object was not taken because of Gerasimov, but because it is an important base of operations,” the official said. Gerasimov is one of the three main architects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, along with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Putin sent Gerasimov to the frontlines to ‘turn the tide’ of Russia’s disappointing invasion, Ukrainian official told Reuters Time. “Our working assumption is that he was there because it’s recognized that they haven’t resolved all of their issues yet,” a US official confirmed.
If Major General Simonov’s death is accurate, he would be at least the 10th Russian general killed during the Russian war in Ukraine. It is likely that more than a quarter of the 120 battalion tactical groups that Russia committed to its invasion “have now been rendered combat ineffective”. The UK Ministry of Defense said early Monday. “Some of Russia’s most elite units, including the VDV Airborne Forces, have suffered the highest levels of attrition. It will likely take Russia years to rebuild these forces.”
In the Izyum strike, preliminary information indicates “there are senior officers among the dead”, said Oleksiy Arestovych, military adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Washington Post. “Their combat readiness has been significantly damaged for the leadership of Izyum. I can’t say it’s been completely destroyed yet.”