Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost an elite leader of the External Security Service in the Ukraine War, leading to the death of the 99th officer during the five-month conflict, according to a new report.
Lieutenant-Colonel Nikolai Gorban, 36, was a commanding officer of the FSB special forces, and died “somewhere in Ukraine on August 2,” informs Napalm journalist Andrei Pavlushko.
The circumstances of Gorban’s death were not disclosed.
He is believed to be the top FSB agent – once headed by Putin – who was killed during the invasion of Ukraine.
An official statement mourning his loss stated that Gorban “participated in the management of combat activities and special operations in Russia and abroad.
While on combat missions, he proved to be a brave and decisive officer. He was proud of his service in the Russian FSB. ”
The quote also stated that Gorban, the son of a soldier, had previously fought in Syria and had been awarded two medals of bravery. He lives by a wife and three sons.
In another blow to the Kremlin, Colonel Vasily Klichenko, commander of the army’s aviation, was also included on the list of the dead.
Klichenko was the deputy chief of the 344th center for combat use and retraining of outstanding helicopter pilots and snipers.
The recent deaths show how President Putin’s war has bled leaders in his armed forces and security services.
Last week, Russian forces lost Olga “Korsa” Kachura, 52, the first woman to kill a colonel in the Ukraine war.
She was a colonel in the forces of the Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic in Ukraine, where she commanded a rocket artillery division.
Putin posthumously awarded her the Order of the Hero of Russia “for courage and heroism demonstrated in the performance of military duty.”
Russia has also seen at least 10 of its generals killed in the war, though the Kremlin has so far confirmed only four deaths.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, British Defense Intelligence reported That due to the “poor performance” of Russian forces in Ukraine, it is “highly likely” that the Kremlin has expelled at least six commanders since the start of hostilities on February 24.
The British Ministry of Defense reported in its latest publication that General Alexander Chaiko was dismissed from his position as Commander of the Eastern Military District in May.
General Colonel Alexander Zhuravlev, who has commanded the Western Military District since 2018, missed the Russian Navy Day in St. Petersburg on July 31, and is likely to be replaced by General Vladimir Kochichkov.
British intelligence also said that General Alexander Dvornikov, who was leading the operation in Ukraine, was later removed, and General Sergei Surovkin took over command of the southern grouping of troops from General Gennady Zhidko.
The DoD concluded that “the cumulative effect on command coherence is likely a contribution to Russia’s tactical and operational difficulties.”
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