Sources in Kyiv say there is a suspicion that he was on board the ship when it was hit by Ukrainian coastal defense missiles
The fate of Vladimir Putin’s Black Fleet chief Igor Osipov is reportedly mysterious after it was revealed that the admiral “has not been seen alive” since the sinking of the warship Moskva last month.
Sources in Kyiv say there is a suspicion that he was on board the ship when it was hit by Ukrainian coastal defense missiles.
Russia has so far admitted to one death on the Moskva River, but it is clear many more have been killed. It is also unclear how many were injured and where they may be receiving treatment as a result.
Ukraine, meanwhile, initially claimed Putin arrested Osipov amid his anger at the attack, while other reports suggested he had been suspended from duty.
Neither theory has been confirmed by Moscow, but Russian officials earlier this week insisted the 49-year-old was at his “combat post” but “not in the mood” to face the public.
The admiral was absent from the Victory Day Parade in Red Square on Monday, which he would normally have been expected to attend.
His name was listed as present at a Black Sea Fleet Day on 7 May, only to be later removed.
Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhaev said: “Our Black Sea Fleet commander, Admiral Igor Vladimirovich Osipov, is now at his combat post.
“Of course he’s not in the mood for social media and congratulations, but I’m sure he and our Black Sea people feel our support.”
However, several Kiev sources say that Osipov has not been seen “live” since the flagship sank on April 14.
“The Black Sea Fleet is discussing whether Osipov might have been aboard the cruiser Moskva at the time of the attack,” said a pro-Kyiv source who claimed to have inside information on the Russian Navy.
Russian Telegram channel VChK-OGPU, meanwhile, reported that no one has seen Osipov in person for a month, although his name can be seen in recently signed documents.
If he were on board the ship, his fate would be obscured by the Russian Defense Ministry’s ambiguity regarding the incident. At the time, Moscow claimed the cause was an onboard fire rather than a missile attack.
The father of a missing, presumed dead sailor on the warship said after meeting with authorities last week: “Numbers of deaths and injuries on the cruiser Moskva will be clarified by the Black Sea Fleet and the Ministry of Defense when they deem it appropriate.”
Dmitry Shkrebets, who believes the truth is the subject of a cover-up, added: “I hope that the military prosecutor’s office and the FSB directorate will thoroughly investigate the causes of the absurd loss of the Black Sea Fleet flagship … and the results will be shared with the Russian people.” announced.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/putins-black-fleet-chief-not-26968150 Putin's Black Fleet chief not seen alive since Moskva warship sank - World News