Russian commander reported killed by Ukraine appears in video
Kyiv said earlier this week it had killed Admiral Viktor Sokolov and 34 officers in an unprecedented strike on the fleet's naval headquarters in the annexed Crimean peninsula last week.
Sokolov was pictured in military uniform attending via video link a meeting held on Tuesday and presided by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Admiral Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, is apparently not dead, according to this photo released by the MOD today, despite Ukraine’s claims to have killed him last week. pic.twitter.com/ZJ3Bfbwzbf— max seddon (@maxseddon) September 26, 2023
The defence ministry released a statement, which did not name Sokolov, saying the meeting had taken place earlier in the day.
In an eight-minute video distributed later by the ministry, Sokolov appears on screen several times, without speaking.
The Kremlin told reporters moments before the statement was published that it had "no information" regarding the status of the commander and deferred questions to the defence ministry.
It had said on the day of the attack that one serviceman was missing, after having initially reported that one person had been killed.
The strike marked a major blow for Moscow, which has suffered a string of attacks on the strategically important port of Sevastopol in recent months.
Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014 and is a key military and logistics hub for Moscow's military.