The commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Victor Sokolov, reappeared in public this Tuesday after the news spread about his death in an attack carried out by the Ukrainian army last Friday in the port of Sevastopol, in the annexed Crimean peninsula. Sokolov apparently participated in a meeting of the board of directors of the Ministry of Defense, although he was not seen intervening.
On September 22, the Ukrainian Armed Forces launched a missile attack against the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in the annexed city of Sevastopol. The head of Ukrainian military espionage, Kyrylo Budanov, assured days later in an interview with Voice of America that the attack had hit at least two high-ranking officers of the Russian Armed Forces, but avoided commenting on Sokolov. On Monday, Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces announced that the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet had died as a result of the attack.
Russia assures that he is not dead. In the images released this Tuesday by the Russian Ministry of Defense, Sokolov appears on a large screen during the meeting of the Russian army’s senior staff, a videoconference chaired in Moscow by the head of Defense, Sergei Shoigu.
The Ukrainian Special Operations Forces reported on Monday not only about the death of Sokolov but also about that of another thirty soldiers as a result of the missile attack against the headquarters of the General Staff of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
kyiv has intensified its pressure in the Black Sea and the Crimean peninsula. Russian authorities admitted on Friday that the historic building of the Fleet General Staff was damaged in the attack. They did not confirm any deaths or injuries, although initially they spoke of a missing person.