Putin’s 56th colonel and ‘40 soldiers’ killed in first strikes on Russian targets using US-supplied HIMARS missiles | The Sun

VLADIMIR PUTIN has lost his 56th colonel and 40 soldiers after they were hit by missiles supplied by the US.

Paratrooper commander Col. Andrei Vasilyev, 49, was allegedly killed in the attack on Friday night.

And reports said that a newly-supplied US medium range HIMARS missile was responsible for taking out more Kremlin targets as the war rages on.

If confirmed, his death was one of the first from the new 43-mile-range weapons sent to Ukraine by President Joe Biden. 

Vasilyev was reportedly in an advanced command post of the Russian army’s airborne assault troops, but the location was not specified. 

He was commander of the 137th Guards Airborne Regiment of the 106th Guards Airborne Division, based in Ryazan.

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Married with a daughter, he had been awarded the Russian Order of Courage on other honours. 

Footage shows the launch of the first HIMARS missiles in Ukraine late last week. 

It is unclear if this is the strike that killed Vasilyev in the Friday attack.

A separate HIMARS attack on Izyum, Kharkiv region hit a Russian command post, killing or wounding 40-plus, say Ukraine. 

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The 55th colonel to die was Lt-Col Sergey Gundorov, 51, whose helicopter was seen crashing in an inferno near Volnovakha in the Donbas, after being hit with a portable surface-to-air missile. 

His stricken Mi-35 touched the ground before cartwheeling over a narrow strip of woodland and crashing in a fireball in a field. 

Putin has also lost at least 11 generals.

Overall Russian losses are believed to be in excess of 30,000, with some estimates of nearer to 50,000.

And Monday marked 124 days since Putin's troops invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Despite the successful HIMARS airstrike, Ukraine are currently under severe fire with fresh attacks launched on Kyiv.

Russian missiles recently rained down on the capital, killing at least one person just hours after Putin rushed to a sudden late-night meeting in Kremlin.

The strike on Kyiv is only one of the attacks in Ukraine as 48 cruise missiles were launched on civilian targets across the country.

The neighbouring  eastern cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk faced the brunt of the attacks on Friday night, with the latter now under full Russian occupation.

And rockets hit military bases, civilian infrastructure and residential neighbourhoods including the northeastern village of Andriivka on Friday night.

More attacks continued to rain down the city of Kharkiv as Kremlin forces carried out a new round of heavy bombardment.

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The fresh attack comes after Putin's mysterious late-night meeting on Saturday amid suspicions he has prepared a new televised statement on the war in Ukraine and tensions with the West.

Meanwhile Boris Johnson and Canada's Justin Trudeau mocked Putin as world leaders gathered for the annual G7 talks.

All you need to know about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Everything you need to know about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…

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