In a setback for Putin, two other Russian generals were killed on Sunday. (Representative Photo/Reuters)
One of the notorious soldiers of the Russian army has been killed by a Ukrainian sniper in Kharkiv, multiple news reports have said. Vladimir Andonov died at night during reconnaissance of the area, along with his comrade, said a report in Newsweek.
The report is based a story in Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. "The death in Ukraine of Vladimir Andonov, better known as Vaha, has become known," the publication said.
Andonov had played a crucial part role in the mass shooting of Ukrainian prisoners of war and execution of civilians in the Donbas region, Sky News reported. The 44-year-old had volunteered to take part in the mass shooting, the publication further said.
He was part of the Wagner group, an organisation of relentless mercenaries, as per Sky News report. Andonov was part of Russian special forces in the Donbas region when Moscow seized Crimea in 2014. Wagner Group fighters are mainly ex-paratroopers or special forces operatives.
The Russian military also confirmed Andonvo's death on messaging app Telegram.
Andonov was given the nickname "The Executioner" due to the brutal tactics he used in previous missions in Syria and Libya.
According to Newsweek, Andolov belonged to Mogoytuysky District, in the Siberian republic of Buryatia.
Andonov's death marks another loss for Russian President Vladimir Putin, after two other Russian generals were killed on Sunday. Major General Roman Kutuzov and Lieutenant General Roman Berdnikov were killed in the Donbas region, reportedly by Ukrainian military.
Their deaths have not been confirmed officially by Moscow.
Meanwhile, Russian forces and their separatist allies are carrying out a major assault on Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, with fierce fighting taking place for the city of Severodonetsk.
Since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, Ukraine's forces claimed to have killed several of Russia's top brass but their exact number is not known as Moscow is tight-lipped on its losses.