Pro-Putin forces lose first female sergeant in Ukraine as mother-of-one killed

Russia's first female casualty in Ukraine has been named as mother-of-one Valentina Galatova.

The 27-year-old was one of six reconnaissance and intelligence troops killed in separate incidents on the same day.

She was also the 37th colonel killed since Russia first invaded Ukraine in February.

According to local sources, Galatova was part of the storming of Mariupol by Russian forces backed by the army of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic in which she served as a rifle battalion paramedic.

A psychology graduate who volunteered for military service, she died last month but her loss has only just been confirmed – her husband died in fighting near Donetsk last year.

She has now been buried in Russia’s Voronezh region, where her son will be raised by his grandmother.

In further blows to Putin’s war effort, he has lost multiple crack reconnaissance troops as his assault on the Donbas appears to have stalled ahead of the 9 May Victory Day parade in Moscow – marking the defeat of fascism in the Second World War.

Reports in Russia claimed that Putin had wanted to use the event to declare victory over Ukraine

Also killed in the last few weeks was Vadim Munkuev, 37.

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He was commander of a “deep reconnaissance company” involved in military intelligence, and a senior lieutenant, who was posthumously awarded the Russian Order of Courage.

The incinerated remains of Andrey Kunakov, deputy commander of a special forces detachment and a major, who died when his tank was hit in Mariupol as he evacuated a trapped reconnaissance unit, was among those who Russia held official funerals for, as was Maxim Nazarenko, 31, a senior intelligence officer with Russian special forces, died in an undisclosed operation.

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And Yury Sergienko, 23, from Volgograd region, was a reconnaissance sniper who died on April 28.

Mum Elena said: "He really wanted to live, he was going to marry.

“His fiancée is with us now

“It's hard when a mother has to bury her child – no-one will ever understand this.”

Diar Dziksimbaev, 31, a father-of-two from Volgograd region, was also killed in Ukraine served with a reconnaissance company in a motorised rifle division, as was Vladimir Tolstov, 21, a reconnaissance sniper who was recently buried next to his uncle Ivan Dulatov, 31, who died in Ukraine in March.

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The nightmare Russian top brass death toll now includes nine generals and 37 colonels in little over two months of war.

Putin was branded "the main war criminal of the 21st century" after allegations of rape and torture following his invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova also said she was "sure" that rape was a deliberate tactic deployed by Russian soldiers as she visited the devastated city of Irpin on Tuesday (May 3).

She noted how men, women, young children and an old woman have been alleged victims of rape in Irpin, adding that many are worried about speaking out in case Russian forces return.

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