Who was Andrey Paliy? Kyiv-born Russian commander of Black Sea Fleet ‘shot dead' near Mariupol
A top Russian military official has been killed on the frontlines, Russian social media posts recently claimed. Andrey Paliy, 51, who was born in Kyiv but renounced Ukraine, was shot dead by Ukrainian forces near Mariupol. This makes him the first Russian naval boss and sixth high-up military leader to die since the war began.
Reportedly, Konstantin Tsarenko, who used to work with Paliy at the Russian Naval School in Sevastopol, announced Paliy's death on Russian social-media site V Kontakte. While Tsarenko later deleted the post, former naval officer Igor Savostin also posted about his death. Russian authorities have not confirmed his death. The exact day he died also remains unknown.
Who was Andrey Paliy?
Andrey was born in Kyiv but following the fall of the Soviet Union, he reportedly pledged his allegiance to the Kremlin. He moved to Russia and joined the navy. He may have been involved in Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea. He was the Deputy commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.
Meanwhile, another Russian general killed in Ukraine recently is Lieutenant-General Andrey Mordvichev. He was the fifth senior Russian leader to be killed since the invasion began, before Paliy. Mordvichev died when a command post at an airfield in Kherson, a port city in southern Ukraine, was destroyed by Ukrainian forces.
Mordvichev's death came just days after Maj Gen Oleg Mityaev, an officer who reportedly commanded the 150th Motor Rifle Division and had fought in Syria, was killed as Russian forces stormed Mariupol. Before Mityaev, three other Russian generals were allegedly killed namely Maj. Gens. Vitaly Gerasimov, Andrei Kolesnikov and Andrei Sukhovetsky, Ukrainian officials and some Russian media said.
Russia suffered its first major blow when Ukrainian defense forces killed Russian Maj Gen Andrei Sukhovetsky in combat. The Kremlin-backed Pravda confirmed that Sukhovetsky was killed "during a special operation in Ukraine". Talking about his death, former CIA officer and station chief Dan Hoffman said, "If it’s true, it’s big."
After Russian President Vladimir Putin deployed deadly weapons and also began considering nuclear options, it was speculated that he was afraid of losing the war. Russian troops became bogged down after an attempt to surround Kharkiv was in vain, with Ukrainian soldiers launching a scathing counter-attack on Russian armored vehicles by using British anti-tank missiles.
Russia has in fact given Ukrainian forces have until 5 am Moscow time (02:00 GMT) on Monday, March 21, to surrender in the eastern port city of Mariupol. but Kyiv has rejected the demand. Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said early on March 21 that there is no question of Ukraine giving up the city of Mariupol and laying down arms. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also appealed to Israel for help in pushing back Russia's assault.
Turkish officials say Moscow and Kyiv were close to reaching an agreement on key points but a top Ukrainian aide said Russia had turned to “more destructive artillery." Russia earlier said its forces used hypersonic “Kinzhal" missiles for a second time to hit Ukrainian targets.