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A top Russian army sniper was killed in Ukraine, reports claim, the latest blow to Putin's military powers

On February 9, 2022, sniper soldiers are seen during a tactical drill in Tambov Oblast (Tambovskaya), Russia.
Sniper soldiers are seen during a tactical drill in Tambov Oblast (Tambovskaya), Russia, On February 9, 2022. Image Credit: Russian Defence Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

According to reports, Russia has lost one of its best snipers in Ukraine, as their death toll continues to rise three months into the conflict.

Sergeant Sergei Tsarkov, 38, died in Ukraine during a "special operation," according to chita.ru, the regional military commissariat.

Tsarkov, who was born in the town of Borzya, was the commander of the 1st rifle platoon's rifle squad of snipers in Transbaikalia, eastern Russia, according to the outlet.

"He was the brigade's best sniper. Everyone looked up to him because he was a professional with authority. No one believed it was possible for this to happen to him " the military commissariat said, according to the outlet.

Tsarkov regularly competed in and won international army games in the Sniper Frontier competition, said the department.

His funeral was held on April 10, but Russian media first reported his death on May 18. A full military funeral appears to be taking place, with a man weeping beside a casket draped in the Russian flag. According to chita.ru, he was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage.

Putin faces military catastrophes.

Russian military mythology revolves around the sniper. Several people were regarded as the ultimate Soviet fighters against Hitler's Nazi invasion during WWII. The most famous was Vasily Zaitsev, who during the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942 killed 225 enemy soldiers. In the 2001 film Enemy at the Gates, Jude Law deceived Zaitsev.

Tsarkov's death comes amid ongoing reports that Russia has lost a slew of top commanders in the Ukraine conflict. Other military disasters include the sinking of Russia's Black Sea Fleet flagship, the Moskva.

According to the Evening Standard, Britain's armed forces minister James Heappey said on Wednesday that Russia has likely lost more than 20,000 military personnel during the war.

The Kremlin, on the other hand, has refused to acknowledge the magnitude of its losses, stating last on March 25 that 1,351 Russian soldiers had died.

Ukraine claims Russia is attempting to hide its true death toll by refusing to return thousands of soldiers' bodies.

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