Russian General Valery Gerasimov, 68, has not been seen in public for more than a month. The Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and commander of the invasion of Ukraine is President Vladimir Putin's right-hand man. But no one knows where he is currently or what happened to him.
It was striking last week that Gerasimov was not present at the press conference of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, where he had previously attended.
The last time he appeared in public was on December 29 of last year. He then honored the soldiers who distinguished themselves during the capture of Marinka in the Ukrainian Donetsk region.
look. In August, Gerasimov visited the troops in Zaporizhia
The wildest rumours
Meanwhile, the wildest rumors spread about his disappearance. The most pressing of these accusations is the killing of Gerasimov in a Ukrainian attack on the Crimean Peninsula on January 3. Several sources claim that there is evidence that Gerasimov was at a command center in Sevastopol when one of the Ukrainian missiles hit and that he did not survive.
However, this information cannot be independently verified. There is no concrete evidence that the general was in Sevastopol at the time of the attack and that he was killed.
For their part, the Russian authorities remain silent about Gerasimov's whereabouts. Another Russian general – Ihor Romanenko – denied these rumours, but immediately stated that no one could be spared.
Gerasimov was not the only high-ranking soldier to disappear from sight. Admiral Viktor Sokolov has not been seen since late September last year. According to Kiev, the man was killed in a missile attack on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the annexed Crimean Peninsula. But Moscow denies this.
Strikingly: Shortly after the attack, photos emerged of an online meeting with the Russian Defense Ministry, at which Sokolov was clearly present. However, he sat somewhat unnaturally on what looked like a pillow and did not say a single word during the entire meeting. Moscow has since released another interview with him, although it is not clear when it was recorded. After that nothing more.
look. Viktor Sokolov suddenly appears in an online meeting
Both cases are ridiculed online. “It is possible that Admiral Sokolov, who has not been seen for 133 days, is somewhere consulting with General Gerasimov, who has not been seen for 55 days,” military expert Fred Hoffman wrote Friday on X. with.
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