Casualties among the Russian military elite
More than ever since WWII
Not only the front line is vulnerable
Colonel Ivan Grishin
Major General Vladimir Petrovich Frolov
Captain Anton Kuprin
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov
Major General Andrei Kolesnikov
Major General Oleg Mityaev
General Magomed Tushaev and Vladimir Zhoga
Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev
Lieutenant General Andrey Mordvichev
Lieutenant Colonels Dmitry Safronov and Denis Glebov
Colonels Sergei Porokhnya and Andrei Zakharov
Colonel Sergei Sukharev
Colonel Alexei Sharov
Lieutenant Colonel  Dmitry Dormidontov
Lieutenant Colonel Igor Zharov
Colonel Denis Kurilo
Lieutenant Colonel Denis Mezhuev
Lieutenant Coloniel Miras Bashakov
Guard Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky
Guard Lieutenant Yuri Agarkov
Remarkably high number of casualties among the elite
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Russian military leaders who died in the Ukraine war
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Casualties among the Russian military elite

He said the war would last "only a few hours." General Yakov Rezantsev, here in an official army portrait, was one of the dozens of Russian military leaders who lost their lives in the Ukraine war.

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More than ever since WWII

The reported number of casualties of Russian generals is the highest since World War II. To media like Foreign Policy, BBC and Business Insider, it suggests that the invasion has not gone as Vladimir Putin expected.

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Not only the front line is vulnerable

According to Business Insider, at least 22 members of the Russian military elite have died in combat during the invasion that started on February 24, 2022. Six of them had ranks as high as that of general.

(In the photo, a handout from the Embassy of Ukraine in Ankara, Russian prisoners of war near Kyiv on February 24, 2022)

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Colonel Ivan Grishin

In the weekend of April 16, a colonel and a general were added to the list of elite casualties. Colonel Ivan Grishin of the 49th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade died from shrapnel wounds in the city of Kharkiv, the Express reported. Pro-Kremlin social media platform VK confirmed the news.

(Image: East2West News via The Mirror)

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Major General Vladimir Petrovich Frolov

In the same weekend, General Vladimir Frolov, the Deputy Commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army, was buried in St. Petersburg. He had "died the death of the brave in battle against Ukrainian nationalists," the city governor said in his eulogy, according to The Express.

(Image: East2West News via New York Post)

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Captain Anton Kuprin

As the Russian war ship Moskva sank in the Black Sea on April 14, First Rank Captain Anton Kuprin reportedly lost his life there. Ukrainian armed forces say the ship was struck by their missiles, but the exact circumstances of its demise are still being investigated.

(Photo: Russian army via Evening Standard)

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Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky

This is the only death of a Russian general that Vladimir Putin has publicly acknowledged, the BBC reports. He did so in a speech right after the beginning of the war. According to Business Insider, General Sukhovetsky of the 7th Airborne Division was killed by sniper fire.

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Major General Vitaly Gerasimov

While taking part in heavy fighting near the city of Kharkiv, General Vitaly Gerasimov of the 41st army was killed along with other senior officers, The Guardian reports. Ukrainian intelligence intercepted a conversation of Russian Security Service officers discussing his death.

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Major General Andrei Kolesnikov

The third general to have reportedly died in the war was Andrei Kolesnikov of the 29th Combined Arms Army. His demise was announced by the Ukrainian armed forces but not confirmed by Russian sources.

(Image: Illia Ponomarenko, Kyiv Independent / Twitter)

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Major General Oleg Mityaev

Number four of the fallen Russian generals was this man who led in the assault on Mariupol. The New York Times reports that Ukrainian troops were able to track and kill the general after they had intercepted a Russian call about his whereabouts.

(Photo: East2West News via El Politico)

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General Magomed Tushaev and Vladimir Zhoga

The fallen generals of the pro-Russia forces include young men. On the left, Magomed Tushaev, a 36-year old Chechen warlord who died in "a 56 tank convoy... destroyed near Hostomel," per the Daily Mail. On the right is the separatist Ukrainian warlord Vladimir Zhoga, 28 years old, who got shot while fighting with the Russians in the Donetsk region.

(Images: Illia Ponomarenko, Kyiv Independent / Twitter)

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Lieutenant General Yakov Rezantsev

The man who famously said that the war would last "just hours," reportedly died in an attack on the Chornobaivka airbase near the city of Kherson, says the BBC. He was Russia's 49th Combined Arms Army commander, 48 years old, and had previously fought in the Syria war.

(Photo: East2West News via The Standard)

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Lieutenant General Andrey Mordvichev

This military leader also died, reportedly, in the Chornobaivka airfield near Kherson where the Russians had a temporary base. Mordvichev was the commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army. His demise is being disputed, Business Insider states, because he was allegedly "photographed... after reports of his death."

(Image: Telecinco / Twitter)

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Lieutenant Colonels Dmitry Safronov and Denis Glebov

Two young Lieutenant Colonels, Safronov (left) and Glebov (right), allegedly died when Ukrainian troops seized the city of Chuhuiv from Russian control, according to The Sun. The information comes from Ukraine's Defense Ministry. However, Russian news outlets say that Glebov was killed in a heroic, special operation in Donbas and that he posthumously received the Order of Courage, Business Insider reports.

(Images: Illia Ponomarenko, Kyiv Independent / Twitter)

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Colonels Sergei Porokhnya and Andrei Zakharov

This is the commander of Russia's 12th Engineer Brigade, who got killed during a "special operation," as Business Insider cites the Russian outlet KP-Ufa. Another colonel, Andrei Zakharov, died "in an ambush on a Russian armored column in a suburb of Kyiv," according to The Guardian.

(Image: Twitter / Illia Ponomarenko, Kyiv Independent)

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Colonel Sergei Sukharev

Insider also cites Russian state TV in its report that Colonel Sergey Sukharev of the 331st Guards Parachute Assault Regiment died in combat in Ukraine. According to Kyiv Independent journalist Illia Ponomarenko, whose Twitter account provides this photo, Sukharev was "responsible for the Ilovaisk massacre [during the Donbas war] of 2014."

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Colonel Alexei Sharov

Colonel Alexei Sharov, who led the 810th Guards Separate Order of Zhukov Brigade in the Russian Marines, was reported killed in Mariupol, Newsweek states. The Odessa military announced his death through Telegram and news outlets such as Ukrinform confirmed it.

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Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Dormidontov

This commander of a rocket artillery division in the 5th Tank Brigade died after a Ukrainian mine struck his dugout, says Business Insider. The information comes from a Russian report that claimed "three officers were killed in the attack: a division commander, a battalion commander, and an aircraft controller."

(Photo: Russian army via Rob Lee / Twitter)

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Lieutenant Colonel Igor Zharov

This commander in the Russian Airborne Forces was honored by Putin after being killed in the attempt to "deNazify Ukraine," a local MP's obituary of Igor Zharov read. A graduate from the famous Kirzhach School of the Army and an ambitious military man, as the Daily Mail reports, Zharov died in undisclosed circumstances.

(Photo: Russian army via Rob Lee / Twitter)

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Colonel Denis Kurilo

The Daily Mail cited the Ukrainian government in its claim to have "eliminated" Colonel Denis Kurilo of the 200th separate motorised rifle brigade "who led Russia's bloody assault in Kharkiv where he was killed in battle." Kyiv's press office said his brigade "had suffered massive losses in the fierce fighting."

(Photo: Eerik N Kross / Twitter)

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Lieutenant Colonel Denis Mezhuev

This commander of the 1st Guards Motor Rifle Sevastopol Red Banner regiment was "most likely" killed in the east of Ukraine, the Daily Mail reports. "Mezhuev had commanded troops in Kyiv before his unit was redeployed in the Donbas." His demise was first mentioned by the Times of London, citing Russian social media users who had posted messages mourning Mezhuev's death.

(Photo: East2West News via The Mirror)

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Lieutenant Coloniel Miras Bashakov

Tank battalion commander Miras Bashakov was buried in St. Petersburg on April 12, Business Insider gathered from the Russian newspaper Fontaka. Little is known about the circumstances of his death during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

(Photo: HTC still via Rob Lee / Twitter)

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Guard Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky

Most deaths of high-ranking Russian military are not confirmed by Russian authorities. The fall of Konstantin Zizevsky, however, was mourned on Instagram by the governor of the Russian Pskov Region. Zizevsky was the commander of the Russian 247th Guards Air Assault Regiment and killed near Kyiv, per the Daily Mail.

(Image: Mikhail Vedernikov / Instagram, via Business Insider)

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Guard Lieutenant Yuri Agarkov

Guard Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Agarkov died alongside Konstantin Zizevsky, the Instagram post by the governor of the Pskov Region says. Business Insider adds that he commanded a motorized rifle regiment.

(Image: Mikhail Vedernikov / Instagram, via Business Insider)

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Remarkably high number of casualties among the elite

In modern warfare, generals tend to be in safer positions than the soldiers below them, analysts in Foreign Policy and The Economist emphasize. Commanders usually coordinate attacks on a large scale from a communication center rather than the front line. For that reason, it's remarkable that so many of the Russian military elite have died in the Ukraine war.

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