The loss of six Russian generals during the war in Ukraine has stunned experts, with a former US military commander and CIA chief today calling it “very, very, very, very uncommon”. Speaking to CNN, David Petraeus said that it was bizarre to have that number of senior generals “just being picked off left and right” by Ukrainian forces. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, claimed that six Russian generals and dozens of other senior officers have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion.
CNN’s Jack Tapper told retired general Petraeus that Russian troops seem to have suffered low morale “and don’t seem particularly motivated”.
He added: “I may be wrong on this but I seem to recall only one US general being killed in the entire war in Afghanistan.”
The former CIA boss responded: “It’s very, very, very, very uncommon for generals to be killed. This is in the first three weeks. And these are quite senior generals.
“The bottom line is that their command-and-control has broken down. Their communications have been jammed by the Ukrainians. Their secure comms didn’t work.”
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He continued: “They had to go to a single channel. That’s jammable. And that’s exactly what the Ukrainians have been doing to that.
“They use cellphones. The Ukrainians blocked the prefix for Russia so that didn’t work.
“Then they took down 3G. They’re literally stealing cell phones from Ukrainian civilians to communicate with each other.
“So, what happens? The column gets stopped. An impatient general is sitting back there in his armoured or whatever vehicle.
Earlier today, Mr Podolyak tweeted: “High mortality of RF senior officers is striking.
“Already 6 generals killed: Maj Gens Tushayev, Gerasimov, Kolesnikov, Sukhovetsky, Mityaev & Lt Gen Mordvichev.
“Dozens of colonels & other officers. i.e. RF army is fully unprepared & fights only with numbers & cruise missiles.”
While Russia has been largely silent on the number of its generals that have been killed, officials did confirm that deputy naval commander Andrei Paliy died today.
A Russian senator said that the deputy commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, who was about to be promoted to rear admiral, has died “in the battles for the liberation of Mariupol from the Nazis”.
Also today, the UK Ministry of Defence said Russia has made “limited progress” over the past week in capturing cities it has encircled in its latest intelligence report.