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General’s Death Reveals Russia’s Problems In The Ukraine War

Ukrainian officials have clarified that Russian generals are targets (File)

Paris:

The assassinations in the actions of several Russian generals and senior military figures in Ukraine have revealed the level of huge losses and logistical problems faced by the invading Moscow army.

According to Kyiv, seven Russian generals have been killed since the invasion was launched on February 24, in what Western officials say will be an unusually high death rate among military officials.

It is impossible to confirm this figure independently and Russian official sources have so far only confirmed the deaths of one general and another senior naval commander.

According to Ukraine’s defense ministry on Friday, the seventh Russian general to lose his life was Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev who was killed in fighting in Chornobaivka on the southern suburb of Kherson.

“I’m going to treat this number with a grain of salt,” said Colin Clarke, director of research at the New York -based research thanks tank Soufan Center.

“But either five or 15 generals, the fact that they lost any generals at all shows that Russian command and control is very weak and its lines of communication have been cut off by the success of the Ukrainian army,” he added.

In a post in the Telegram, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Mykhailo Podoliak described the “extraordinary” death rate among Russian generals and senior military figures.

“This is a sign of complete military readiness,” he said. “All this, no doubt, weakens the morale of the Russian military – they realize that their top leadership is completely incompetent”.

The weaknesses shown by the Russian military in Ukraine, particularly in intelligence, logistics and tactical errors, have forced the army chief to go to the front lines, said a senior French military official, who declined to be named.

“Orders may not be well understood or accepted, units may not be compliant or there may be major problems with morale. All of this could cause the general to go ahead.”

‘Not a word’

Of the generals, only the death in action on February 28 of Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, deputy commander of Russia’s 41st Confederate Armed Forces, has been confirmed by official Russian sources.

Andrei Paliy, deputy commander of the Kyiv -born Black Sea fleet, was killed in clashes around Mariupol, the Crimean -inspired governor, Mikhail Razvozhayev, announced on his Telegram channel.

But this acceptance has been the exception in a climate where Russia discloses only the most limited information about its losses.

Russia has only had twice in a month -long conflict giving official figures for Russian soldiers killed, the most recent on March 25 giving a figure of 1,351 deaths.

As a sign of possible trouble, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu disappeared from view for about two weeks this month, reappearing only on Saturday, though the Kremlin insisted there was nothing undesirable.

Although Western sources did not confirm the Ukrainian figure of 17,000 Russians killed, they said the actual number of Russians may be several times higher than the official number.

Leonid Volkov, a close ally of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, said the funeral of major general Vitaly Gerasimov – Ukraine’s second general to say it had killed – had taken place in Yekaterinburg on March 16.

“There is no word on this in any Russian media … This general will be buried in an anonymous grave,” he wrote.

Western security sources, who declined to be named, confirmed Ukrainian claims that Rezantsev was the seventh Russian general to have been assassinated.

The official said another Russian colonel commanding a brigade had been killed by his own troops, who raided him “as a result of the scale of losses his brigade had taken”.

‘Easy to bypass’

There is still uncertainty about some Russian generals that Ukrainians say have been killed.

According to Ukrainian authorities, major general Magomed Tushaev was killed in fighting outside Kyiv on 26 February.

The 36 -year -old is a general in the National Guard (Rosgvardia), an internal military force that responds directly to Putin. He is the highest -ranking Chechen who is said to have been killed.

However, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has insisted that Tushaev is still alive, saying he took part in a meeting on March 23 and posted a video of a man allegedly speaking as he spoke on March 13.

Russian TV on Monday aired images allegedly showing Kadyrov in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol meeting a man said Lieutenant General Andrei Mordvichev, one of the Ukrainian generals said to have been killed.

Ukrainian officials have clarified that Russian generals are being targeted and their duties appear to have been eased by Russian troops using communication tools that are easily intercepted by their enemies.

Russian units “do not pay attention to computer security procedures and are easily intercepted,” Alexander Grinberg, an analyst at the Jerusalem Institute of Security and Strategy (JISS), told AFP.

He said on the battlefield the commanders could be identified with the naked eye in vehicles that could be identified by “antennas and other vehicles that protect them” which could then be attacked.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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