Ukraine killed Russian commander Artur Bogachenko who executed Ukrainian PoW

The commander of Russia’s “Ghost” Brigade, Artur Bogachenko, has reportedly been killed in Ukraine.

News of Bogachenko’s death was reported by the Colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Anatoly Shtefan, while the Russian Telegram channel “Russian Spring Military Correspondents” reported that the commander was killed in clashes near Klishchiivka, a settlement south of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

He was reportedly the commander of the Prizrak Brigade (meaning “Ghost Brigade”) of the Russian Armed Forces. The Ghost Brigade is a pro-Russian separatist militia operating in the Donbas area of Ukraine. It was formed in the Luhansk region in 2014 when Russian forces invaded Ukraine and illegally annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

It comes nearly two months into Ukraine’s push to recapture territory Russia has seized throughout the 17-month-old war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has acknowledged that his forces are advancing slowly in the long-anticipated counteroffensive which kicked off in early June.

The Washington D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War think tank published a map of Russian-controlled territory in the area of Bakhmut on July 25, and said Ukraine’s armed forces continued counteroffensive operations on at least three sectors of the front line. It said key battles in eastern Ukraine are taking place outside the settlements of Klishchiivka, Kurdiumivka, and Orikhovo-Vasylivka.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces also said in an operational update this week that Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations in the Bakhmut direction.

According to Ukrainian news outlet Focus, the previous commanders of the Ghost Brigade, Alexei Mozgovoy and Alexei Markov, died in 2015 and 2020 respectively.

“The commander of the Ghost Battalion, Artur Bogachenko, was successfully demobilized. He went to visit Mozgovoy and Markov,” Colonel Shtefan said on his Telegram channel, posting a photo of the commander.

Andriy Zagorodnyuk, an adviser to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry in Kyiv, told Newsweek on Friday that the ongoing operation is “opportunistic” and intentionally agile, adding that Ukraine has been “exploding an immense amount of the ammunition depots over recent months.” At least four such facilities have been struck since Kyiv’s counteroffensive began.

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