Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a statement from the Pentagon saying it is unable to confirm Gerasimov’s death.
Ukraine says it killed another high-ranking Russian military leader.
Vitaliy Gerasimov, a major general of the Russian Army, “was eliminated” near Kharkiv, according to Ukraine’s defense intelligence directorate.
“Another loss among the top team of the army of the occupying country,” the directorate wrote on its Facebook page and Twitter account. The directorate said Gerasimov was killed in battles near Kharkiv.
Gerasimov was a Russian military commander, chief of staff and first deputy commander of the 41st Army of the Central Military District of Russia, according to the directorate.
He “took part in the second Chechen war and the Russian military operation in Syria,” according to the directorate. He received a medal “for the return of the Crimea.”
Tuesday morning, a senior U.S. defense official could not confirm that Gerasimov had been killed outside Kharkiv, nor whether he had any family ties to Valery Gerasimov, the Russian armed forces chief of staff.
The Russian embassy in Washington D.C. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last week, Russian media said another military leader was killed in that nation’s war on Ukraine.
Russian news outlets reported that Andrei Sukhovetsky, deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District, was killed last week.
Sukhovetsky died during a special operation in Ukraine, his comrade-in-arms Sergey Chipilev wrote on social media, according to Pravda.ru.
“With great pain, we learned the tragic news of the death of our friend, Major General Andrey Sukhovetsky, on the territory of Ukraine during the special operation. We express our deepest condolences to his family,” he wrote, according to the publication.
Sukhovetsky graduated from the Ryazan Higher Airborne Command School in 1995, according to Pravda.ru. “As reported on the website of the Ministry of Defense, he started his career path as a platoon commander and went up to the chief of staff of the Guards airborne assault unit.”
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.