The Russian Ministry of Defence has shared a video featuring the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Viktor Sokolov, participating in a conference. This development comes in contrast to Ukraine’s earlier claims of Adm. Sokolov’s death.
The exact timing of the video footage, which shows Viktor Sokolov engaging via video link with the Russian Defense Minister, remains uncertain. However, the Russian Defense Ministry has stated that the meeting with senior officials occurred on a Tuesday.
Previously, Ukraine’s special forces had asserted on a Monday that Adm. Sokolov, along with 33 other officers, had perished in a missile strike targeting the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet situated in Sevastopol, the annexed region of Crimea. It is important to note that Ukraine did not directly name the admiral, nor did they provide concrete evidence of his demise. Subsequently, they have expressed the need to “clarify” these reports.
In their statement, Ukrainian officials mentioned, “As it is known, 34 officers were killed as a result of a missile attack on the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation. Available sources claim that among the dead was the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Many [bodies] still have not been identified due to the condition of the body parts.”
The eight-minute video recording showcases a Defense Ministry collegium meeting, said to have occurred on a Tuesday morning. Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu is observed conversing with senior officials within a conference room situated in Moscow. Additionally, brief video links are established with the commanders of Russia’s five fleets during the course of the conference, with none of them speaking during these moments.