Russia has lost its 50th colonel of the war in Ukraine days after two Russian generals were killed in one day.
Artillery commander Lt Col Vladimir Nigmatullin, a 46-year-old father-of-three from Yekaterinburg, was killed on May 31, Daily Mail reports.
His death has been confirmed by his family, adding to the huge growing list of casualties of Russia’s military leaders, with one colonel killed every two days.
Nigmatullin’s sister-in-law Marina Konyukhova said: ‘Eternal memory, darling, dear, much-loved man, you passed away.
‘We still cannot believe you are gone. You are a father of three children, and an amazing husband to my sister.
‘I am always proud of you, and I will always be proud. You set an example to the Motherland, so that everyone does like you did.
‘You were ordered with the Order of Bravery, posthumously. You went through a lot of conflict areas.’
His death comes after Vladimir Putin lost two of his most senior commanders in a single day in a devastating bridge ambush in eastern Ukraine, a group of independent journalists claimed.
On Sunday June 5, Russia confirmed the death of Major-General Roman Kutuzov. The next day, it was claimed Lieutenant-General Roman Berdnikov was also killed on the same day in an attack carried out by Kyiv’s forces, taking the death toll of generals to 12.
Kutuzov was the chief of staff of the 29th Combined Arms Army and was awarded a posthumous promotion to Lieutenant-General. He died in an ambush in Donbas.
‘He calmly walked up the career ladder, successfully commanded the troops, and died as a soldier, fighting on the front lines,’ said a report by Readovka.
One mourner said: ‘I knew him personally, Roman lived a hero and died a hero.
‘My condolences to his loved ones, strength and patience to his subordinates and fellow officers.’
The claims that both Berdnikov and Kutuzov died came from the Volya Telegram channel which has independent war journalists working on both sides of the conflict.
‘On the morning of June 5, Lt-Gen Roman Berdnikov, who led the Russian troops and units of the DPR from Donetsk, left with the headquarters on a working trip,’ said the post. ‘On the way, presumably on a bridge, the vehicles of the headquarters were attacked by a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group.’
Part of the convoy was ‘destroyed or immobilised’ but some vehicles, ‘having received serious damage and firing back, were able to escape from the ambush and leave,’ the post said.
‘After that, our sources reported that Roman Berdnikov died in this battle,’ the report continued. ‘A little later, two more sources confirmed this, specifying that other senior officers could have died during the battle.’