Vladimir Putin has lost his 40th colonel in Ukraine, it was confirmed today as he marked Victory Day in Moscow.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Blinov, 42, was killed in March but news of his death was strenuously denied by Russian officials.
His death has been confirmed by a picture on his grave in Volgograd, south-western Russia.
Blinov’s killing is a new milestone in Russia‘s faltering invasion, with nine of Putin’s generals also known to have died since the war in Ukraine began on February 24.
The death of Lt Col Alexander Blinov, 42, is the latest milestone in Putin’s faltering invasion
News of Blinov’s death broke as Putin addressed the Victory Day army parade in Red Square
Blinov was a married father of three. A family friend said: ‘For us it is just a shock.’
He served in a motorised rifle unit.
Yesterday news emerged of Putin’s 39th killed colonel Fezul Bichikaev, 36.
The Lieutenant Colonel was a high-flying elite soldier reportedly killed on a secret intelligence mission.
Tanks were the main event at the Red Square parade this morning after the air show was called off, reportedly due to bad weather. Putin’s fearsome ‘Doomsday’ plane was scheduled to fly
A Soviet Union-era T-34 tank used in World War Two was part of the 77th anniversary festivities
The father-of-three was portrayed as a hero who was killed near Kharkiv ‘with a machine gun in his hands covering his subordinates’, according to reports in Russia.
Lt-Col Fezul Bichikaev, 36, died in Ukraine on May 2, 2022, becoming the 39th Russian colonel to die in Ukraine
‘Thanks to the self-sacrifice and heroism of the officer, it was possible to save the lives of servicemen, destroy the enemy’s sabotage group, and complete the combat mission,’ said military expert Oleg Marzoev on a local news website in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia.
The actual toll of dead Russian high ranking officers be higher since the defence ministry has acknowledged few deaths.
The US said it has assisted Ukraine with intelligence used to target Putin’s top brass.
Bichikaev was one of Russia’s youngest colonels, second in command of his regiment, and his death amounted to ‘a heavy, irreparable loss’, said the report.
Bichikaev’s death came a day after the disclosure of the death of Lt-Col Fyodor Solovyov, 44, in the Donbas.
Solovyov was commander of the howitzer self-propelled artillery regiment of the 127th motorised rifle division in Putin’s army.
Putin (right) deliberates with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (left) as he leaves the parade
He was buried with full military honours and a triple volley of guns in Chunaki village, Penza region.
Four days earlier Lt-Col Eduard Dmitriev, 44, a tank commander, was reported to have been killed.
Nine generals and 40 colonels have been killed since 24 February in Putin’s war according to known statistics, although Russia has not come clean on total fatalities.
Despite setbacks, Putin pressed ahead with his annual May 9 Victory Day parade in Moscow, commemorating the end of World War Two.
In an uncharacteristically subdued speech, Putin repeated his claim Ukraine is riddled with Nazis.
The hotly awaited air parade was called off, reportedly due to bad weather.
Lt-Col Eduard Dmitriev, 44, (left) died in Vladimir Putin’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine on April 24, 2022. Lieutenant colonel Fyodor Solovyov (right) died in Donbas, he was buried in Penza region. He was the 38th Russian Colonel to die in Ukraine since February 24
Solovyov was buried with full military honours. He was commander of the howitzer self-propelled artillery regiment of the 127 motorised rifle division
Russia’s fallen generals
General Magomed Tushaev: Chechen special forces leader who had led ‘anti-gay purges’ killed in an ambush near Hostomel on February 26
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky: Deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District killed during a special operation by a sniper on March 4
General Magomed Tushaev (right) was blown up in the early stages of the war by Ukraine after they joined the Russian invasion
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov: First deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army who took part in operations in Syria and Crimea, killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Major General Andrei Kolesnikov: Commander of the 29th Combined Army Army killed on March 11
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov (left) was first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, taking part in operations in Syria and Crimea. He was killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Major General Oleg Mityaev, died fighting near the city of Mariupol on 16 March
Lt Gen Andrey Mordvichev, killed in the Kherson region on March 19
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army, was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25
Major General Vladimir Frolov was deputy commander of the 8th Guards Army in east Ukraine. His grave in St Petersburg was pictured two weeks ago
Major General Andrey Simonov, an electronics warfare expert, died on May 1
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army. He was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25
The grave of Major General Vladimir Frolov in Serafimovskoe Cemetery, St Petersburg. The circumstances of his death remain unclear
Major General Andrey Simonov was an electronic warfare commander in Putin’s army