Ukraine’s Special Forces have recently claimed responsibility for a targeted missile strike that allegedly resulted in the alleged demise of Moscow’s highest-ranking admiral in Crimea, Admiral Viktor Sokolov. This audacious assault, which took place last week, targeted the headquarters of Russia’s formidable Black Sea Fleet harbored in the strategic port of Sevastopol. Alongside Sokolov, reports suggest that 33 other high-ranking officers were also casualties of this daring operation.

As news of this bold attack reverberates through international corridors, the Russian Defence Ministry has remained notably reserved, neither confirming nor denying the reported demise of Admiral Sokolov.

While Moscow’s silence has left the global community speculating, its defense ministry later released a video meeting with Sergei Shoigu where Admiral Sokolov can be seen among the attending Russian officers.

It is unclear, however, when the circulating footage was filmed. Some news outlets conducting independent verification have made a positive match of Sokolov using facial recognition software, but whether the video was taken before the Ukrainian strike or after remains unknown. Not to mention, the Ukrainian claims offered no evidence that could solidify the ultimate fate of the senior Russian officer.