Russian generals are dying in Ukraine partly because they are struggling to get conscripts to follow orders

Business Insider

Russian generals are dying in Ukraine partly because they are struggling to get conscripts to follow orders, report says

Tom Porter – March 22, 2022

  • Ukraine says it’s killed at least five Russian generals, an unusually high total for senior officers.
  • A European diplomat told Foreign Policy that poor communications were leaving commanders exposed.
  • Russia is sustaining high overall casualties in its invasion of Ukraine.

Russian generals are moving into advanced positions leaving them exposed to attacks because they’re struggling to get their orders through to conscripts, a European official told Foreign Policy magazine.

Ukrainian officials have said Ukrainian forces have killed at least five Russian generals so far. Such a toll is unusually high for such senior officers.

Russian tank
Smoke rises from a Russian tank destroyed by Ukrainian forces in February.Anatolii Stepanov / AFP) (Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images

On Saturday, Ukraine said its forces had killed Lt. Gen. Andrei Mordvichev when they struck an airfield near Kherson, one of the few Ukrainian cities Russia has managed to occupy.

On Sunday, Russian officials said a senior naval commander, Andrei Paly, had been killed by Ukrainian forces near the besieged city of Mariupol.

A European diplomat briefed on intelligence reports told Foreign Policy that a failure of Russian communications systems was leaving generals exposed to interception and targeted strikes.

The diplomat also said that difficulties in getting conscripted troops to follow orders were making them take positions close to the front.

The Russian military is using conscripts alongside its regular military in the invasion of Ukraine, despite having promised that it would not. Experts have said conscripted troops are often poorly trained and have low morale.

“They’re struggling on the front line to get their orders through,” the European diplomat said. “They’re having to go to the front line to make things happen, which is putting them at much greater risk than you would normally see.”

The diplomat said that about 20% of Russia’s top commanders in Ukraine had been killed in the conflict, reducing its military effectiveness and stalling its advance.

The theory corroborates a report published Monday by Insider’s Christopher Woody.

The report cited a US official as saying Russian generals were at inherently greater risk than their US counterparts because of a Russian command structure that gives lower-ranking officers less autonomy and demands closer involvement of generals.

US officials believe that about 7,000 Russian troops have been killed in the fighting so far. On Monday, a Russian tabloid reported, citing the country’s defense ministry, that the death toll was higher than 9,000, but it subsequently retracted the claim.

Author: John Hanno

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Bogan High School. Worked in Alaska after the earthquake. Joined U.S. Army at 17. Sergeant, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 84th Artillery, 7th Army. Member of 12 different unions, including 4 different locals of the I.B.E.W. Worked for fortune 50, 100 and 200 companies as an industrial electrician, electrical/electronic technician.