A top Russian army sniper has been killed in Ukraine, say reports, in the latest blow to the military prowess of Putin's forces
- One of Russia's top snipers has been killed in Ukraine, according to Russian media.
- Sergeant Sergei Tsarkov was the best sniper in his brigade and often won international competitions, per reports.
Russia has reported losing one of its best snipers in Ukraine, as its death toll continues to mount three months into the war, reports say.
Junior Sergeant Sergei Tsarkov, 38, died during a "special operation in Ukraine," the military commissariat of the region told the Russian outlet chita.ru.
Tsarkov, who was born in the town Borzya, was the commander of a rifle squad of snipers of the 1st rifle platoon based in Transbaikalia, eastern Russia, the outlet reported.
"He was the best sniper in the brigade. Everyone respected him very much, he was a professional, he had authority. No one could believe that this could happen to him," the military commissariat said, according to the outlet.
The department said that Tsarkov regularly participated in and won international army games in the Sniper Frontier competition.
His funeral took place on April 10, but his death was first reported by Russian media on May 18. Images appear to show a full military funeral, with a man weeping beside the casket draped in the Russian flag. He was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage, chita.ru said.
military catastrophes for putin
—Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) May 18, 2022
The sniper is an important part of Russian military mythology. During the Second World War, several were idolized as the ultimate Soviet fighter against Hitler's Nazis invasion. The most famous was Vasily Zaitsev who killed 225 enemy soldiers during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942. Jude Law protrayed Zaitsev in the 2001 movie, Enemy at the Gates.
The news of Tsarkov's death comes amid ongoing reports about Russia losing scores of its top commanders during the war in Ukraine. Other military catastrophes include the sinking of the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva.
Britain's armed forces minister James Heappey said on Wednesday that Russia has likely lost more than 20,000 military personnel during the war, according to the Evening Standard.
The Kremlin has, however, not acknowledged the scale of its losses, last stating on March 25 that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed.
Ukraine has accused Russia of attempting to cover up its true death toll by refusing to take back the corpses of thousands of soldiers.
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