MORE Russian generals could die – Western officials unveil reason for humiliating losses

Ukraine: Russian tanks being blown up in Mariupol

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Earlier this week Major General Oleg Mityaev died while Russian forces attempted to storm the city of Mariupol. Major General Andrei Kolesnikov, Major General Vitaly Gerasimov and Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky have all also been killed in battle.

The military men were all experienced in their roles and had served in Syria, Chechnya and even the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

The losses at the top are a heavy blow for President Putin and the Russian army.

With the war now in its fourth week, Moscow has witnessed a dismal showing from its armed forces.

Ukraine’s military has claimed that in total 13,800 Russian soldiers have been killed or captured since the start of the invasion.

Meanwhile, 430 tanks and 1,375 armoured vehicles are unusable.

When Moscow first launched its invasion it was thought Ukraine would fall within a matter of days.

Putin and the Kremlin were caught off-guard by the heavy resistance they met.

Western officials believe the initial failures play a key role in the deaths of four highly ranked military officers.

One said: “We think that one of the reasons why a number of generals appear to have been killed is because things are going badly they have to go closer to the front to guide their troops – let’s use that word – in operation.

“They need to provide more close up supervision and therefore going further forward and therefore becoming vulnerable to enemy action.”

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Another added: “We are seeing a reasonable amount of evidence of very, very low morale among the Russian forces.”

With the invasion continuing to stall, it is possible even more generals could die in the days and weeks ahead if they continue to lead from the front.

As the war drags on longer than expected, Russia is finding itself low on supplies.

It has led to Putin’s forces being unable to make any real advances.

A defence intelligence update released late last night by the UK said: “Logistical problems continue to beset Russia’s faltering invasion of Ukraine.

“Reluctance to manoeuvre cross-country, lack of control of the air and limited bridging capabilities are preventing Russia from effectively resupplying their forward troops with even basic essentials such as food and fuel.

“Incessant Ukrainian counterattacks are forcing Russia to divert large number of troops to defend their own supply lines.

“This is severely limiting Russia’s offensive potential.”

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