Russia’s Vladimir Putin has lost an elite foreign security service commander in the Ukraine war, becoming the 99th senior official to die in the five-month conflict, according to a new report.
Lieutenant Colonel Nikolay Gorban, 36, was a commander in the special forces of the FSB and “died somewhere in Ukraine on August 2,” InformNapalm journalist Andrey Pavlushko said.
The circumstances of Gorban’s death have not been revealed.
He is believed to be the most senior operative in the FSB – once led by Putin – to be killed during the invasion of Ukraine.
An official citation mourning his loss states that Gorban “participated in combat activities and special operations in Russia and abroad.
“While carrying out combat missions, he proved himself to be a courageous and decisive officer. He was proud of his service in the Russian FSB. “
The testimonial also mentions that Ghorban, the son of a soldier, had previously fought in Syria and was awarded two gallantry medals. He is survived by his wife and three children.
In another blow to the Kremlin, Army Aviation Commander Col. Vasily Kleshchenko was also killed.
Kleshchenko was the deputy chief of the 344th Combat Use and Retraining Center for elite helicopter pilots and snipers.
The latest deaths show how President Putin’s war is bleeding commanders in his armed forces and security services.
Last week, the Russian military lost Olga “Korsa” Kachura, 52, the first female colonel to die in the Ukraine war.
She was a colonel in the army of the Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic in Ukraine, where she commanded a rocket artillery division.
Putin was posthumously awarded the title Hero of Russia “for bravery and valor in the performance of military duty”.
Russia has said at least 10 of its generals have been killed in the war, although the Kremlin has so far confirmed only four deaths.
Meanwhile, on Sunday Britain’s defense intelligence provided this information Due to the “poor performance” of the Russian military in Ukraine, the Kremlin has dismissed at least six commanders “very likely” since hostilities began on February 24.
The UK Ministry of Defense said in its latest bulletin that General-Colonel Alexander Chaiko was removed from his post as commander of the Eastern Military District in May.
General-Colonel Alexander Zhuravlev, who has commanded the Western Military District since 2018, was absent from Russia’s Navy Day in St. Petersburg on July 31 and was replaced by Lieutenant-General Vladimir Kochetkov.
British intelligence also said that General Alexander Dvornikov, who was in overall command of the operation in Ukraine, has since been removed and that General Sergei Surovikin has taken over command of forces in the south from General Gennady Zydko.
“The cumulative effect on command coherence may contribute to Russia’s strategic and operational difficulties,” the Defense Ministry concluded.