The Daily Beast [Shannon Vavra]
Russia has now lost at least 100 senior officers since it invaded Ukraine earlier this year, according to some tallies. It’s a devastating milestone for Moscow—and just the latest indication that Vladimir Putin’s war effort in Ukraine is wavering.
In the past two days alone, three senior Russian officers were reported dead: Lt. Colonel Nikolay Gorban, a commander from the Foreign Security Service (FSB) special forces; army aviation commander Colonel Vasily Kleshchenko; and Colonel Vitaly Tsikul of Russia’s 90th Tank Division—reportedly the 100th Russian senior officer to die in the war.
But it’s not just deaths rankling Russia’s forces. Russia has been chipping away at its leadership ranks just by firing them outright, too. General-Colonel Aleksandr Chayko, the former commander of the Eastern Military District, was dismissed in May, according to British intelligence. Russia has likely replaced General-Colonel Aleksandr Zhuravlev with General-Lieutenant Vladimir Kochetkov to head up the Western Military District. General Aleksandr Dvornikov, who was heading up the operation in Ukraine, has also reportedly been dismissed.