Who is Alexei Sharov? 15th Top Russian Commander Killed in Ukraine War

Ukrainian forces have killed another Russian commander, news outlets in Ukraine reported, and if confirmed it would add to the significant loss of top military figures fighting for President Vladimir Putin since the start of the war.

Colonel Alexei Sharov, who commanded the 810th Guards Separate Order of Zhukov Brigade in the Russian Marines, was reported killed in the southern city of Mariupol, where tens of thousands of people remain trapped amid a siege.

The death was revealed in a Telegram post by Odessa military administration spokesman Sergey Bratchuk and reported by Ukrainian news outlets including state news agency Ukrinform.

"The commander of the Russian Marine Brigade was destroyed by our military," said Bratchuk, according to a translation, "and so it will be with anyone...who is trying to kill our children. And they are not forgiven."

Ukrainian army officer Anatoliy Stefan also tweeted the news of the death to his 54,000 followers.

Newsweek has contacted Russia's defence ministry for more information. It has not confirmed previous reports about the deaths of its top brass.

Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has said six Russian generals had been killed, although a top European diplomat told news and analysis outlet Foreign Policy it was likely to be only five.

Media reports on Wednesday said the latest death was the 15th top Russian military commander to die, although western intelligence officials say it could be as many as 20, according to Foreign Policy.

The tally is likely to be the highest casualty rate among general officers in the Russian military since World War II, according to Foreign Policy, which reported that electronic communications equipment failures left Russian forces vulnerable to targeted strikes.

Commanders were leading from the front to get a large force of nearly 200,000 troops (many of whom are young conscripts) to follow orders, it added.

However, an American defense official told Business Insider that the U.S. could not confirm the death of generals—but added that the Russian military's organization and command-and-control structure often meant that senior military leaders were at the frontline.

Putin has acknowledged the death of one general, without naming him, while NATO officials say several others have also died.

Last week, the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced the death of Lieutenant General Andrei Mordvichev, who was commander of the 8th General Army of the Southern Military District of Russia's Armed Forces. He was reported to have been killed at an airfield in Chornobayivka, in Kherson region.

Ukraine can get a significant public relations boost with its claims that generals have been killed in battle but Moscow is still tight-lipped about its casualties, whose true numbers are a matter of speculation.

Russia said on March 2 that 498 Russian troops had died, a figure which it has not updated.

However, Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda reported this week that 9,861 Russian soldiers had died and 16,153 had been injured in figures that were later deleted.

Colonel Alexei Sharov
Russian Colonel Alexei Sharov has been killed by Ukrainian forces, Ukrainian media have said. Reports have suggested Russia has lost several generals during its invasion of Ukraine, as the senior officers try to organize troops at the frontline. Twitter