The Ukrainian Armed Forces have claimed to have killed over a dozen high-ranking officers of the Russian Army in three weeks on the battlefield in Ukraine.
At least four Russian generals reported were killed in action in the first three weeks of Russia’s wide-scale invasion of Ukraine, showcasing the intense resistance and heavy casualties Kremlin’s forces have faced since invading Ukraine.
According to BBC, around 20 generals are leading Russian operations in Ukraine, meaning that if all the reported deaths are confirmed, one-fifth of Russia’s generals have been killed in action.
Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the CSIS International Security Program and a retired Marine Corps colonel, said Russian generals have a tradition of leading troops into battle going back to the roots of the Soviet Union and the Red Army.
But the vulnerability of an invading force makes these officers more susceptible to fire in the open, he added.
“Every military recognizes that they’ll take casualties, so everybody is replaceable from generals on down the privates,” Cancian told Military.com. “The Russian generals are probably leading from the front. They’re clearly getting out there, and there’s an element of vulnerability to that.”
On top of that, the Russian official media acknowledged a large number of losses among the senior officers of the level of Colonel, Major. Separately, some combat units were left without command at all.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, a person within President Zelensky’s inner circle said Ukraine had a military intelligence team dedicated to targeting Russia’s officer class.
“They look for high profile generals, pilots, artillery commanders,” the person told the newspaper.
With Ukraine’s military outnumbered, its targeting of high-level individuals could be an important part of the information war, according to Rita Konaev.
“Assuming there is an element of targeting, this feeds Ukraine’s own morale. There is the element of being victorious. It is inspiring.”
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