The commander of a Russian submarine is shot dead by Azerbaijani forces during a peacekeeping mission.
- Captain Ivan Kovgan was killed by machine gun fire in a war-torn region of Azerbaijan.
- He was part of a Russian peacekeeping force deployed in the area.
- Kovgan was deputy commander of the Russian Northern Fleet’s submarine force.
Vladimir Putin lost one of his top nuclear submarine force commanders after his vehicle was hit by heavy machine gun fire while on a peacekeeping mission in Azerbaijan.
Captain Ivan Kovgan, 52, was shot dead in the disputed Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, where he was seconded as deputy commander of a peacekeeping force.
The 52-year-old military leader was also deputy commander of Russia’s Northern Fleet submarine force based in the Arctic.
He died alongside Colonel Tagir-Murod Karaev of the Russian Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces, along with four other Russian servicemen, when their UAZ Patriot vehicle was riddled with bullets by the Azerbaijani army.
‘His vehicle was attacked. “They were all killed,” a source said.
Captain Ivan Kovgan (pictured) was killed by machine gun fire in Azerbaijan.
His 4×4 vehicle was riddled with bullets
He and five other Russian servicemen were killed in the attack.
Photos of the 4×4 vehicle transporting the military figures show that it was riddled with bullets.
Those responsible for shooting the submarine commander and other peacekeepers have been arrested and are expected to face criminal action.
Your commander has been suspended.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev personally apologized to Putin for the murder of Kovgan and other peacekeepers and promised financial compensation for their families.
“To investigate all the causes of the incident, the investigative authorities of Azerbaijan and Russia are working on the ground,” the Defense Ministry in Baku reported.
Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, personally apologized for the killings.
Kovgan (pictured left) was deputy commander of Russia’s Northern Fleet submarine force based in the Arctic.
He asked for “patience” during the investigation and expressed his condolences to the Russian military and the soldiers’ families.
The killings occurred as a ceasefire was declared between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians in the region, just 24 hours after Azerbaijan launched a military operation to take full control of Nagorno-Karabakh, a mainly Armenian province.
The area is located in the mountains of the South Caucasus region of Eastern Europe and Asia, between the Black and Caspian Seas, and has been at the center of one of the world’s oldest conflicts.
Russian peacekeepers have been sent to the region after thousands of people were reportedly killed in six weeks of fighting between Armenia, Azerbaijan and the self-proclaimed breakaway region of Artsakh.