According to western reports, a third Russian major general was killed in Ukraine on Friday, as Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces continued to defend their homeland against Moscow.

Major General Andrei Kolesnikov, the head of the Eastern Military District, is the latest senior Russian officer to die since Vladimir Putin’s soldiers invaded Ukraine 16 days ago, according to Ukrainian military sources.

It comes only days after Maj Gen Vitaly Gerasimov, the 41st Army’s chief of staff, and Maj Gen Andrei Sukhovetsky were killed near Kharkiv.

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Western officials informed the PA news agency this evening that the latest example of Ukraine’s refusal to back down will be a further blow to the Russian military, which has been startled by Ukrainian president Mr Zelensky’s strategic defense tactics.

Around 20 Russian Major Generals are said to be participating in the invasion, with some of those killed having volunteered to fight on the front lines.

“You would expect to see that at a point when troops are unable to make decisions of their own and lack situational awareness or are fearful of moving forward, at which point more senior officers come forward to lead from the front,” one official said.

Mr Putin’s troops are said to be suffering from low morale, owing in part to the freezing weather, which has fallen to roughly minus 9 ° C.. After being in the field for more than two weeks, some troops are running low on food, gasoline, and ammunition.

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Russian forces appear to be seeking to “reset” before launching new attacks, including against Kyiv, according to the latest Ministry of Defence (MoD) intelligence assessment.

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