Senior Russian general ‘killed by one of Putin’s own landmines’ in Ukraine

Russia may have lost as many as six high-ranking officers in Ukraine in just one week following reports a senior general was killed by a landmine placed by his own side.

Major general Vladimir Zavadsky, 45, the deputy commander of the 14th Army Corps, died in occupied Ukraine on Tuesday, reported pro-Kremlin newspaper Lenta.

The elite military academy where Zavadsky studied, the Moscow Higher Combined Arms Command School, also announced his death in a social media post, although that has now been deleted.

Russia’s defence ministry has not officially commented on the reports.

Zavadsky was not reported to have been killed in action. According to the Telegram channel VChK-OGPU, which claims to have ties to Russian security services, the general died in a blast on a landmine placed by Vladimir Putin’s own forces to target Ukrainian reconnaissance groups.

“The investigation is considering the possibility of an explosion of a mine that was previously installed by a neighbouring unit in order to combat the enemy’s [sabotage and reconnaissance unit],” it said.

krainian servicemen walk on the road toward their base near the frontline in the Donetsk region on 4 February (AFP via Getty Images)
krainian servicemen walk on the road toward their base near the frontline in the Donetsk region on 4 February (AFP via Getty Images)

It said the incident happened during a “senseless” redeployment of his forces away from the frontline, though there were conflicting reports about where exactly the landmine blast took place. The Lenta report said Zavadsky was killed near Izium, in Kharkiv oblast, despite the fact the town was taken back by Ukraine in September 2022 and now lies some dozens of kilometres from the frontline inside Ukrainian-held territory.

Zavadsky’s reported death in Ukraine would be the latest fatality among Russian officers this week alone.

At least five other high-ranking officers were killed in a Ukrainian airstrike on the Russia-occupied village of Yuvileine in Kherson oblast, Ukraine’s National Resistance Centre said on Tuesday.

The Ukrainian strike occurred on Monday and targeted a building where Russian authorities were scheduled to convene for a meeting, it said on the Telegram channel, according to the Kyiv Independent.

Pictures shared by the centre showed the building belonging to a Russian “law enforcement service” damaged and nearby parked cars also damaged.

The latest losses on the battlefield have taken the death toll of high-ranking Russian military officers to at least 12 in the 22-month war, according to most reports.

Again, however, reports vary. Ukrainian officials claim as many as 16 of Putin’s generals have died in the conflict so far, while Russia admits to only six.