There was some query about how a lot inventory needs to be positioned within the movies launched by Russia. Moscow has a well-established historical past of attempting to comb miliary embarrassments underneath the rug, most notably throughout this conflict when the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet was sunk.
Even when its plans seem to work out, the Kremlin generally likes to take care of a shroud of thriller.
It has declared no involvement, for instance, when outdated adversaries flip up poisoned in different nations. And extra just lately, when the mercenary chief Yevgeny V. Prigozhin died after his aircraft exploded, President Vladimir V. Putin provided a cryptic eulogy for a onetime ally who had briefly rebelled: He was a “talented man,” he stated, with a “complicated fate.”
Still, Ukraine, too, has made claims in the course of the conflict which have turned out to be inaccurate or, a minimum of, unprovable. After the primary video purporting to indicate Admiral Sokolov alive appeared in Russia, Ukrainian officers acknowledged that they could have made a mistake, however maintained that they nonetheless thought he was useless.
On Wednesday, Admiral Sokolov — or, a minimum of, a determine who resembled him — didn’t restrict himself to affairs navy. A state-owned newspaper, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, revealed an article saying that he had handed out an award that morning to the Black Sea Fleet’s soccer staff.
There was proof suggesting that the award ceremony could, in actual fact, have been a restaging of an earlier occasion, presumably to buttress the notion that the admiral was nonetheless alive. He himself, in response to a query, says on the video that the ceremony had been postponed.
Aric Toler contributed reporting.