A Russian general who boasted that the invasion of Ukraine would be over in hours has been killed, it was reported on Friday.
Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev was killed in a strike on his command post by Ukrainian armed forces, said military sources in Kyiv.
The 48-year-old is the latest senior Russian commander to die in what is becoming an attritional battle for Ukraine.
Rezantsev, Commander of the 49th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District, is understood to have been killed during a strike on an airfield near the village of Chornobaivka, in the Kherson region.
Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the head of the president's office, said: "Over the past day, our troops – as we previously reported and we can now say for sure – killed the commander of the 49th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District of Russia, Lieutenant General Yakov Vladimirovich Rezantsev."
Rezantsev had reportedly told his men on the fourth day of their deployment that the so-called "special operation" would be over quickly. One soldier said: "Do you know what he told us? 'It's no secret to anyone that there are only a few hours until this special operation is over.' And now those hours are still going."
The general's death means the Russian army has lost 15 military commanders in a month. Military analysts believe this is a higher casualty rate for the country than in any conflict since World War Two.
Some are understood to have gone to the front line to shore up the faltering invasion and take personal command of reluctant troops.
Rezantsev is the fifth general Ukraine claims to have killed since Russia invaded.
Major-General Oleg Mityaev, 47, the commander of the army's 150th motorised rifle division, died fighting in the besieged city of Mariupol, while Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, 45, was killed outside the eastern city of Kharkiv on March 7.
Major-General Andrey Kolesnikov, commander of the Guards Tank Kantemirovskaya Division, was killed in fighting on March 11, and Major-General Andrei Sukhovetsky, 47, was killed by a sniper on March 3.