Vladimir Putins colonel killed in drone strike while mowing lawn home

Kamikaze drone blasts into Moscow skyscraper

One of Vladimir Putin’s lieutenant colonels has been killed during a drone strike while he was mowing his lawn at his country home, according to reports.

Alexei Chernykh of Russia’s anti-corruption police was killed while doing garden work at his country cottage in Shchetinovka, Russia – just 1,000ft from the Ukraine border.

The claims of the killing have been made by Russian Telegram channel Baza, which is linked to the country’s security services.

Ukraine hasn’t claimed responsibility for the drone strike – a tactic it has followed in the war when distancing itself from attacks on Russian soil.

On Monday, Baza reported Chernykh died “after a Ukrainian drone dropped ammunition on his garden in Shchetinovka.”

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The Telegram channel added: “At that moment, Alexei had the day off and mowed the lawn.”

Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov has accused Ukraine of being behind the “targeted” drone strike on the Russian rural settlement.

He alleged Ukraine’s armed forces dropped “an explosive device from a drone” which struck a civilian who was “at his summer cottage mowing the grass.”

Gladkov stopped short of naming the person but said he died from shrapnel wounds

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In a post on Telegram, the Belgorod Governor also extended his condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

But if Ukraine is behind this particular drone attack, it could be some of the strongest evidence yet of Ukraine’s growing combat capabilities and ability to carry out targeted attacks.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky recently warned attacks on Russian territory are an “inevitable, natural and absolutely fair process.”

Russia has been smashed by several drone strikes during recent weeks as Ukraine ramps up the speed of its much-anticipated counteroffensive against Putin’s forces.

Moscow has been a frequent target over the summer, with drone attacks on skyscrapers in the business district of the Russian capital.

On May 30, the city that is home to the Kremlin was hit in a large-scale drone strike for the first time since Russia began its war with Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Last month, Ukraine’s military intelligence spokesperson Andriy Yusov told the Kyiv Post the fact drones have been able to reach Moscow “testify to the fact that the Putin regime is unable to fully control the sky even for the protection of the most important facilities.”

He further warned: “Obviously, this situation will continue and increase in scale.”

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