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Russian general killed by Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv, says Ukraine defence ministry
8 March 2022, 07:55 | Updated: 8 March 2022, 10:04
A decorated Russian Major General has been killed by Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv, the second general from the invading force to be killed in the conflict.
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov died near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s military intelligence said. They also said a number of other senior officers were also killed and wounded.
Gerasimov was a senior military official who participated in the second Chechen war and was awarded a medal for “capturing Crimea.”
He is the second Russian general to be killed in a week. Russian media said last week that Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, 47, deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District had been killed.
Reports have said that Sukhovetsky was shot and killed by a sniper near Mariupol.
The Ukrainian defence ministry also released a broadcast which it claimed was a conversation between two Russian FSB officers discussing Gerasimov's death and complaining that their secure communications were no longer functioning inside Ukraine.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the war was “like a nightmare” for Russia in a speech to his countrymen last night.
He also vowed to hunt down and kill "every b*****d" who targeted fleeing civilians in Ukraine.
He said: "We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war. On our land. We will find every b*****d which shot at our cities, our people.
"Which bombed our land. Which launched rockets. Which gave the order and pressed 'start'.
"There will be no quiet place on this Earth for you. Except for the grave."
He defiantly posted footage showing he was "not afraid" and showed the Kyiv skyline from his offices before giving the speech.
An adviser to Ukraine's president has said the third round of talks with Russia ended with progress made on humanitarian corridors.
The Kremlin promised safe corridors for civilians. However, the mayor of one besieged Kyiv suburb has described artillery fire as being so relentless residents are unable to gather up their dead.
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine well into its second week, a steady rain of shells and rockets continues to fall on towns like Bucha. The mayor of the Kyiv suburb, Anatol Fedoruk, said military fire had been heavy and constant.
"We can't even gather up the bodies because the shelling from heavy weapons doesn't stop day or night," Mr Fedoruk said.
"Dogs are pulling apart the bodies on the city streets. It's a nightmare."
Corridors intended to let Ukrainian civilians escape the Russian onslaught could open on Tuesday, Kremlin officials said, though Ukrainian leaders greeted the plan with scepticism since prior efforts to establish evacuation routes crumbled over the weekend amid renewed attacks.
In one of the most desperate cities, the encircled southern port of Mariupol, an estimated 200,000 people - nearly half the population of 430,000 - were hoping to flee, and Red Cross officials waited to hear when a corridor would be established.
Russia's chief negotiator said he expected the corridors to be in use on Tuesday.