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Mystery is growing over the fate of Vladimir Putin's Black Fleet chief, Admiral Igor Osipov, who has 'not been seen alive' since the sinking of the Moskva warship one month ago.

There are now suspicions that the commander was on board the vessel when it was hit by Ukrainian Neptune missiles, say Kyiv sources.

Initially Ukraine claimed that the admiral was detained amid fury from Putin over the cruiser's sinking.

Mystery is growing over the fate of Vladimir Putin's Black Fleet chief, Admiral Igor Osipov (picture date unknown)

Other claims were that he had been suspended.

This was never confirmed by Russian officials who this week insisted he was at his 'combat post' but 'not in the mood' to face the public.

Osipov, 49, was conspicuously absent from the Red Square Victory Day parade on Monday, which he would routinely be expected to attend.

He was also nowhere to be seen at events linked to Black Sea Fleet Day this week.

At one event on 7 May, he was reported as being present only for his name to be removed later.

The governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhaev said: 'Our commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Igor Vladimirovich Osipov, is now at his combat post.

There are now suspicions that the commander was on board the Moskva warship when it was hit by Ukrainian Neptune missiles, say Kyiv sources (stock photo used)

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'Of course he is not in the mood for social networks and congratulations, but I'm sure he and our Black Sea people feel our support.'

Despite this, several sources say that Osipov has not been seen 'live' since the Black Sea Fleet flagship was sunk on 14 April.

'The Black Sea Fleet is discussing whether Osipov could have been on board the cruiser Moskva at the time of the attack,' said one pro-Kyiv source claiming to have inside information from the Russian navy .

And Russian Telegram channel VChK-OGPU said no-one has seen Osipov face to face for a month.

Osipov's name has appeared as if he signed documents recently - but evidently he has not been seen in person.

Osipov, 49, was conspicuously absent from the Red Square Victory Day parade on Monday, which he would routinely be expected to attend. Picture date not known

If he was on the warship, his fate would be covered by the obfuscation the Russian defence ministry has thrown over the incident, which it claimed was caused by an on-board fire not a missile strike.

Russia has so far admitted to one fatality on the Moskva, when it is clear many more were killed.

It is also known that many were wounded and have been receiving treatment in hospitals in several cities.

The father of a missing - presumed dad - sailor on the battleship said after a meeting with top brass last week: 'Figures of dead and wounded on the cruiser Moskva will be clarified by the Black Sea Fleet and Ministry of Defence when they consider it expedient.'

Earlier he had accused them of a cover-up over the fate of the crew, around two-thirds of which are believed to have been conscripts.

The father - Dmitry Shkrebets - said: 'I hope that the causes of the absurd loss of the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet will be investigated thoroughly by the military prosecutor's office and the FSB directorate…and the results will be made public to the people of Russia.'

The nine Russian generals believed to have been killed in Ukraine conflict...and a suspected tenth

General Magomed Tushaev: Chechen special forces leader who had led 'anti-gay purges' said to have been killed in an ambush near Hostomel on February 26 

Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky: Deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District killed during a special operation by a sniper on March 4

General Magomed Tushaev (right) was said to have blown up in the early stages of the war by Ukraine after they joined the Russian invasion

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov: First deputy commander of Russia's 41st army who took part in operations in Syria and Crimea, claimed to have been killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8

Major General Andrei Kolesnikov: Commander of the 29th Combined Army Army said to have been killed on March 11

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov (left) was first deputy commander of Russia's 41st army, taking part in operations in Syria and Crimea

Major General Oleg Mityaev, died fighting near the city of Mariupol on 16 March, it has been claimed

Lt Gen Andrey Mordvichev, killed in the Kherson region on March 19, it has been alleged

Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia's 49th combined army, was claimed to have been killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25 

Major General Vladimir Frolov was deputy commander of the 8th Guards Army in east Ukraine. His grave in St Petersburg was pictured last month

Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, was commander of Russia's 49th combined army

The grave of Major General Vladimir Frolov in Serafimovskoe Cemetery, St Petersburg. The circumstances of his death remain unclear

Major General Andrei Simonov is claimed to have died during the attack on a Russian army command past in northern Ukraine, President Zelensky adviser Alexey Arestovych said last month

Admiral Igor Osipov, Black Fleet chief, has 'not been seen alive' since the sinking of the Moskva warship one month ago. There are now suspicions that the commander was on board the vessel when it was hit by Ukrainian Neptune missiles, say Kyiv sources.

Major General Andrei Simonov (picture date unknown) was an electronic warfare commander 

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Ukrainian Soldier Shares Horrific Story of Being Shot in Face and Buried Alive by Russians: I Hate Them With All My Soul

“This is where Mykola was buried alive.”

Those stunning words are how CNN correspondent Melissa Bell introduced an interview with Mykola Kulichenko, a Ukrainian soldier with a harrowing tale of Russian soldiers torturing him and his two brothers, eventually blindfolding them and shooting them before burying them in a shallow grave. Kulichenko was the only one to survive.

Bell visited the site with Kulichenko for a segment on The Lead with Jake Tapper. Kulichenko pointed out scraps of fabric still strewn on nearby trees, identifying them as blindfolds the Russians made him and his brothers wear. He pointed out a scar on his cheek where the bullet exited, and shared how he was determined to live to tell his story to the world.

A war crimes investigation has been opened by the regional prosecutor’s office, reported Bell.

They visited the home where Kulichenko lived with his two brothers and sister. The “family’s nightmare began” on March 18, said Kulichenko, describing how Russian soldiers had come to their village looking for men who they believed had carried out an attack on a Russian convoy.

The Russians were “looking for anything that might link the brothers to the attack on the convoy,” said Bell, and they found no such evidence, but did find their grandfather’s military medal and Kulichenko’s brother’s military bag. He was a reservist in the Ukrainian Army.

Kulichenko said he and his brothers were taken from their home, blindfolded, interrogated in a cellar for four days, beaten, and taken out to the woods to be executed. Their sister heard nothing from them for four days, said Bell, “until Mykola came back from the dead.”

“I came home and there was Mykola,” said a tearful Iryna Kulichenko through a translator. “I looked at his eyes and asked, ‘Where are the others?’ He said, ‘There are no others.'”

Two months after his brothers died and he nearly joined them, Kulichenko “still struggles to speak,” Bell narrated.

“What do I think of the Russians?” he said through a translator, pausing to put his head in his hands and fight back tears. “I hate them with all my soul. They are animals. They should burn in hell.”

Kulichenko was unable to give his brothers a proper burial and tombstone for another month until the Russian withdrawal.

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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