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Russia Ukraine news: ‘Twelve of Vladimir Putin’s officers are killed’ in Kherson strike

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Twelve Russian officers are thought to have been killed in a single rocket strike as Ukraine’s armed forces inflict punishing losses with American-supplied weapons. 

The attack targeted a command post in at Chornobaivka Airport, near the occupied southern city of Kherson, and is rumoured to have killed at least one general and one colonel. It is thought to have been carried out using US HIMARS rockets.

Video shows what appears to be an ammunition dump at the base exploding, as Russian Telegram channels report Putin is infuriated at the inability of Russia’s S-400 anti-air systems to protect his armed forces. 

It comes as Ukraine readies its million-strong military for a major offensive  around Kherson, aiming to recapture territory seized by Russia early in the conflict.

Russian arms depot explodes in Kherson

Twelve Russian officers, including a general, have reportedly been killed after Ukraine struck a command post and ammo dump near Kherson using American rocket systems (pictured)

Chornobaivka Airport - near the city of Kherson which is now being used as a major Russian military base - was hit with US-made HIMARS at the weekend

Chornobaivka Airport – near the city of Kherson which is now being used as a major Russian military base – was hit with US-made HIMARS at the weekend

Defence minister Oleksii Reznikov revealed President Zelensky has given his generals orders to draw up plans for the attack and come up with a list of equipment they need to get the job done.

Reznikov says his job will then be to go to Ukraine’s western allies and make the case for those weapons to be handed over, as he did with HIMARS.

‘We’re people of the free world and with a real sense of justice and liberty,’ he told The Times.

‘We have approximately 700,000 in the armed forces and when you add the national guard, police, border guard, we are around a million strong.’

Chornobaivka Airport – where the latest HIMARS attack took place – is a strategically important airfield located in Ukraine’s south that was captured by Russia in early in the war, and now serves as a military airfield.

It is hardly the first time the airstrip has been targeted by Ukrainian attacks, as a series of bombardments early in the war destroyed dozens of helicopters and inflicted heavy losses on Putin’s men.

But as the frontline pushed further to the west, the airfield dropped out of range of Kyiv’s men. However, with the arrival of American rocket systems it can be hit again.

The airfield is located close to Kherson, which is the only regional capital to have fallen to Putin’s army and is set to be the focus of Ukraine’s fight-back.

Putin is said to be furious at the seeming inability of his latest-generation anti-air system, the S-400 (pictured), to take down the HIMARS rockets

Putin is said to be furious at the seeming inability of his latest-generation anti-air system, the S-400 (pictured), to take down the HIMARS rockets

American-made HIMARS systems are being used by Ukraine (pictured) to target Russian command posts and ammo depots deep behind the frontline

American-made HIMARS systems are being used by Ukraine (pictured) to target Russian command posts and ammo depots deep behind the frontline

Russian state TV war reporter Alexander Sladkov – who has links to the shadowy Wagner Group and typically posts pro-Kremlin propaganda – wrote overnight that Ukraine ‘has struck several times at our decision-making centres with results.’

He added: ‘The centres are small but important. I will not write here where, when, how much, and who [was hit] in order not to give out military secrets.

‘My question is simple: when will this bull**** end?

‘Can you **** the military-industrial complex so that we finally have the preventive [means to stop these missile attacks].’

One report claims Putin is so enraged that he is looking for scapegoats and turning on his own allies over the failure of the acclaimed S-400 missile defence system to perform effectively in the war.

Former prime minister Mikhail Fradkov, who was also Putin’s longest-serving SVR foreign intelligence spy chief and now heads the board of weapons-maker Almaz-Antey, could be fired and even face criminal action over the failings, according to Telegram channel Sanctions RF.

So could the state-owned arms company’s director-general Yan Novikov, said the report.

‘Disassembling has begun in the Russian Defence Ministry due to the fact that the S-400…cannot properly protect airspace and is not even able to protect itself [from HIMARS attacks],’ said the report.

Putin is said to be considering sacking Mikhail Fradkov, former prime minister and head of arms-maker Almaz-Antey, over the S-400s failings

Putin is said to be considering sacking Mikhail Fradkov, former prime minister and head of arms-maker Almaz-Antey, over the S-400s failings

Colonel Sergey Kuzminov

Lt Colonel Alexey Tikhonov

Colonel Sergey Kuzminov (left) and Lt Colonel Alexey Tikhonov (right), have both been confirmed killed in Ukraine, bringing the total number of dead colonels to 62

Colonel Sergey Kens, 42, was also confirmed dead in Ukraine - though it is not clear when, where or how exactly he died

Colonel Sergey Kens, 42, was also confirmed dead in Ukraine – though it is not clear when, where or how exactly he died

‘The technical characteristics of the flagship air defence system were overestimated many times, and the money allocated for the development of the S-400 was successfully stolen.

‘The deception surfaced recently, when the S-400s failed to shoot down a single HIMARS missile either in the Donbas or in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.

‘Not only that – during an attack on a military base in Ilovaisk, HIMARS missiles destroyed the S-400 complex, which was supposed to protect the area from air strikes.’

Meanwhile three more Russian colonels were reported dead today, bringing the total to at least 63 killed during the war so-far as Putin’s officers suffer shockingly-high casualties.

Lieutenant Colonel Aleksey Tikhonov appeared to have been killed in the Kherson region, which has been under heavy Ukrainian bombardment.

Tikhonov, in his early 40s, from Nizhny Novgorod region, served with the 46th brigade of the Russian National Guard.

It is unclear exactly where, when or how he died. Russia often delays reporting deaths for weeks in an attempt to obfuscate the toll of the war from the public.

Colonel Sergey Igorevich Kuzminov, an elite paratrooper commander, also appeared to have been killed in Kherson.

Kuzminov, also from the from Nizhny Novgorod region, had served with the 106th airborne division.

The third to die was 42-year-old Colonel Sergey Kens, commander of the 810th Separate Marine Brigade.

It is not clear when, where or who Colonel Kens died, though his passing was confirmed by local media. 

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