A LETHAL LEGACY: Full list of Russian commanders killed in the war with Ukraine
Despite superior numbers, Ukraine's brave resistance has left Russia with massive losses, more so when it comes to military commanders
In a few days, it will be one month since the start of Russia's brutal war on Ukraine. What Vladimir Putin had hoped would be a swift victory has turned into a battle of attrition, with Russian forces struggling to control the handful of cities they've captured. Making things worse is the fact Putin's forces have suffered extremely high losses, both to equipment and men.
Back on March 13, we reported that Putin had asked Xi Jinping for help with military equipment after Russia lost a huge number of tanks, weapons, and men within a few weeks. That request came after Belarusian soldiers quit, boycotted, and refused to sign up for the war, leaving Putin on his own. Most officials believe Russia only has the ability to last a week or so at the most, which is why Putin has resorted to indiscriminate bombing of Ukrainian cities.
But it's not just tanks and weapons that Putin has lost. Over the past month, Ukrainians have also killed 13 top Russian commanders, throwing Russia's plans into disarray. While we don't know the exact number of Russian troops killed in combat, we have a more precise understanding of senior commanders, based on media reports. Here's a full list of the commanders killed in Ukraine.
The first senior official to be killed, Major General Sukhovetsky was shot by a sniper on February 28. The 47-year-old was the commanding general of the Russian 7th Airborne Division and deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army. He previously served in Syria and the North Caucus region of Russia. His death was even acknowledged by Vladimir Putin, and Russian intelligence.
Russia's second major loss in the war was Major General Gerasimov, who was shot dead in Kharkiv on or around March 7. The chief of staff of the 41st Army is a veteran of the Chechen war, the annexation of Crimea, and Russia's campaign in Syria. Ukraine's intelligence unit confirmed his death and also released audio of two Russian FSB officers discussing it.
On March 11, Ukraine's military confirmed the death of Major General Kolesnikov. It's unclear where and how he died, but at the time he was the commander of the 29th Combined Arms Army. So far, Russia has not acknowledged his death publicly.
Major General Mityaev was killed during the assault of Mariupol, according to Ukraine's Interior Ministry. Again how he died is unclear, all we know is that he was killed by Ukraine's far-right Azov regiment on March 15. The commander of the 150th motorized rifle division also previously served in Syria.
On March 19, the Ukrainian military confirmed the death of Lieutenant-General Mordvichev. The leader of the 8th General Army of the Southern Military District was killed after Ukraine launched an offensive on an airfield in Chornobayivka, near Kherson Airport, which was being used as a Russian base. The Kremlin has not confirmed his death so far.
Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Safronov, Commander of the 61st Separate Marine Brigade, was believed to have been killed on March 6 as Ukraine liberated the city of Chuhuiv. It's unclear how he died, and Moscow has not confirmed his death, but it was made public by Ukraine's Ministry of Defense.
The same day Safronov died, Ukraine also confirmed the death of Lieutenant Colonel Denis Glebov, who was the Deputy Commander of the 11th Separate Airborne Assault. Glebov is believed to have been killed in the Donbas region or in Chuhuiv, with reports contradicting where he died and was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage by the Kremlin.
Guard Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky served as the commander of the 247th Guards Air Assault Regiment until his death on or around March 7. According to a Russian governor, he was killed during an operation "to protect the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics." No other details are available at this time.
Guard Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Agarkov died alongside Zizevsky while serving as the commander of the 33rd motorized rifle regiment. It is believed he was also killed in Crimea, but how has not yet been confirmed. His death was also acknowledged by Governor Mikhail Vedernikov, but not the Kremlin.
Colonel Andrei Zakharov was reportedly killed in an ambush of an armored column outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on March 10. Zakharov was believed to have been commanding that regiment, but his death has not been confirmed by Russia. In 2016, he was awarded the Order of Courage by Putin himself, according to Russian media.
The commander of Russia's 12th Engineer Brigade was killed on March 14 "while deploying a bridge". The Colonel's death was confirmed by Russian outlet KP-Ufa, and some of his colleagues on social media, but not the Kremlin.
Colonel Sukharev of the 331st Guards Parachute Assault Regiment was killed along with several other high-profile officers on March 18. Russian state TV confirmed the death of Sukharev, who was believed to be a key figure in the Ukraine invasion planning. He belonged to Russia's Kostroma regiment, believed to be among Russia’s most elite fighting forces.
General Magomed Tushaev was killed after an attack near Homstel Airport on March 2. The Chechen warlord is believed to be the right-hand man of Chechen forces leader Ramzan Kadyrov. He was amongst the many Chechen forces killed in the operation.
Ironically born in Kyiv, captain Andrey Paliy became the first Russian Navy commander to lose his life in Ukraine after he was shot in Mariupol sometime around March 20. The naval chief reportedly participated in the 2014 invasion of Crimea and remained stationed at Russia's naval base in the region. His death was confirmed by colleagues on social media.