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Vladimir Putin Loses 46th Colonel As Ukraine Troops Kill Lt-Col Alexander Kalnitsky

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Another Russian colonel has died in Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, the 46th known to have been killed in the three-month conflict.

High ranked reservist Lt-Col Alexander Kalnitsky, 60, suffered fatal shrapnel wounds while leading a detachment of Cossack fighters.

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Pictures show his funeral in Novopokrovskaya village, Krasnodar region.

“At the time of his death, Alexander Kalnitsky was deputy chief of staff of the Kuban Cossack detachment,” said a source.

In Soviet times he had graduated from the Kyiv Higher Anti-Aircraft Missile Engineering School.

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He took part in the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

He was a reservist colonel in the Russian army.

The death of the 60-year-old retiree follows the killing of two high ranking ‘pensioner pilots’ fighting in Putin’s war.

Major General Kanamat Botashev, 63, was killed under Ukrainian fire while piloting an Su-25.

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His wingman retired air force  colonel Nikolai Markov, 63, was also downed over Luhansk region in a separate incident, the 45th colonel known to have died.

The losses come as Boris Johnson warned Vladimir Putin’s invading army is making “palpable progress” in the Donbas region after abandoning the attempt to encircle Kyiv.

The Prime Minister has stressed the “vital” need to provide Ukraine with fresh military support including long-range rocket launchers as Russian forces slowly “chew through ground” in the east.

Mr Johnson argued, in an interview with Bloomberg, that more offensive weapons including long-range multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRSs) are needed.

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He warned of the dangers in negotiating with the “crocodile” Russian President but said Mr Putin must accept that his so-called “de-Nazification” of Ukraine has finished so he can “withdraw with dignity and honour”.

Mr Putin’s invading troops have recently captured “several villages” as they attempt to surround Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in the Donbas region, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

But it said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s defending forces are holding “multiple defended sectors” as Russia deploys 50-year-old Soviet-era T-62 tanks.

These, the intelligence update said, “will almost certainly be particularly vulnerable” to anti-tank weapons and their use shows Russia’s lack of “modern, combat-ready equipment”.

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Mr Johnson said: “I think it’s very, very important that we do not get lulled because of the incredible heroism of the Ukrainians in pushing the Russians back from the gates of Kyiv.

“I’m afraid that Putin at great cost to himself and Russian military is continuing to chew through ground in Donbas, he’s continuing to make gradual, slow but I’m afraid palpable progress.

“And therefore it is absolutely vital that we continue to support the Ukrainians militarily.”

Photo Credit: Getty

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