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Russia's navy is like a 'chicken running around without a head' after a major strike on its Black Sea HQ, says Ukraine official

Russia navy sailors officers in South Africa
Russian military personnel at a press conference in the port in Richards Bay, South Africa on February 22, 2023.GUILLEM SARTORIO/AFP via Getty Images
  • Ukraine claimed it killed Russia's Black Sea Fleet commander, Viktor Solokov, in a strike on Friday.

  • Dmytro Pletenchuk said Russia's navy is now like a "chicken running around without a head," per CNN.

  • But on Tuesday, Russia's defense ministry shared a video of Sokolov apparently taking part in a meeting.

Russia's navy is like a "chicken running around without a head" after the alleged death of its top commander in the Black Sea, a Ukrainian official said.

Dmytro Pletenchuk, a spokesman for the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, made the statement on national television after the country's special forces claimed that a strike on a Russian headquarters in Sevastopol on Friday killed Admiral Viktor Sokolov, the top officer of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

"At this moment, they lost the person who actually manages all of this and his staff, who manages the fleet together with him," Pletenchuk said, according to CNN.

As such, he compared the operations to "a chicken running around without a head."

Ukraine's special forces claimed on Monday that an airstrike on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Crimea on Friday killed Sokolov, along with 33 other officers.

Insider was unable to independently verify the claim, but in footage released by Russia's defense ministry on Tuesday, Sokolov appeared to be shown taking part in a video conference with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on the fate of Sokolov.

"There has been no information from the Ministry of Defense. This is entirely in their purview and we have nothing to say here," Peskov told reporters during a routine call on Tuesday morning, per CNN.

Sokolov's death would be a major logistical headache for Russia, Pletenchuk said before Sokolov's apparent reappearance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has no control over ships' operations at sea, he said, and relies on admirals to manage and deploy troops.

Russia has been struggling with increased Ukrainian attacks on its Black Sea Fleet and its naval base in Sevastopol.

The UK's Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update on Tuesday that a slew of attacks in recent weeks had likely strained the Russian fleet's capacity to patrol the region and enforce its blockade of Ukrainian ports.

Read the original article on Business Insider