What it Means for Russia to Lose Two Generals in its War Against Ukraine

Darrell Todd Maurina
5 min readMar 11, 2022

It’s expected that soldiers die in war. What’s not expected is for generals — not just one but two of them — to die in barely two weeks of what Russian military forces expected to be an easy victory over Ukraine.

What’s considerably more problematic is **WHO** the two Russian generals were.

Maj. Gen. Andrei Sukhovetsky had been a Spetsnaz (special forces) commander. A trained paratrooper, he had fought in most of the recent Russian combat operations including the Syrian civil war, Chechnya, and the Russo-Georgian war in which — very much like what’s now happening in Ukraine — several Russian-speaking regions of the former Soviet republic of Georgia broke away. He was also involved in the Russian annexation of the formerly Ukrainian territory of Crimea.

In other words, he’s been through this before. He knew what to expect, he knew how previous Russian operations had succeeded, and he clearly was not a leader the Russians wanted to lose — definitely not due to a Ukrainian sniper.

There’s still some uncertainty about the circumstances surrounding what appears to be a second dead Russian general, Maj. Gen. Vitaly Gerasimov. He had a similar background in Chechnya, Syria, and the Crimean annexation. What’s particularly interesting is that the Ukrainians intercepted Russian reports of Gerasimov’s death, along with a number of other senior officers, because the Russian encrypted radio system wasn’t working.

Problems happen in warfare. That’s expected.

However, the level of problems being faced by the Russian military seems far greater than most — perhaps all — Western intelligence agencies expected. The Russians, perhaps better than most second-tier military forces, understand the importance of logistics. The Russians won the Second World War in large measure because the real Nazis — not the current Ukrainians who are being falsely painted as needing “de-Nazification” — outran their supply lines.

If the Russians were facing any major military force, the 40-mile-long convoy stuck on the roads between Russia and Kyiv would now be a blackened ruin. It’s not as if the Russians don’t know what happened on the “Highway of Death” to their ally, Saddam Hussein…