Putin’s Generals Killed Over Weak Chain of Command: USA

Russian generals are being killed during their invasion of Ukraine due to a weak chain of command, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the director of defense intelligence, said at a hearing on Tuesday.

Berrier told Senator Tom Cotton that between eight and 10 Russian generals had been killed since fighting began in late February. The head of the DIA said earlier in the hearing that he believes Russia’s lack of NCOs or non-commissioned officers was leading to a breakdown that was forcing senior military leaders to the front lines.

Petty officers commonly deployed in the US military are essentially career sergeants who act as leaders within the corps. They play an important role in passing on their accumulated experience and knowledge to newer troops.

But Russia has not invested in a strong non-commissioned officer corps, which Berrier says may have contributed to the deaths of Russian generals.

Putin's soldiers die because of NCO Corps: Berrier
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s generals are dying due to a poor chain of command, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier said Tuesday. Above is Berrier testifying before the Senate.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Cotton asked if the lack of NCOs indicated that “these generals must go forward to ensure their orders are carried out in a way that General Berrier would never have to go forward if he were in a combat command because of his focus on the captains.” could leave and Lieutenants and Sergeant Berriers to carry out his orders.

Berrier agreed with a simple “yes.”

At the beginning of the hearing, Berrier pointed to Russia’s lack of trained NCOs as a factor that caught his eye during what he currently describes as a “patout” between highly motivated Ukrainian forces and the much larger Russian military machine.

“What was the most interesting development for me in watching the Russian armed forces make mistakes is really the lack of a non-commissioned officer corps,” he said. “When I think about small unit tactics and how that developed between Ukraine and Russia, I think the NCO Corps is a big part of it. And I think the Ukrainians are about right about that.”

news week previously compiled a list of Russian generals who had died by mid-April. They include General Magomed Tushaev, Major General Andrey Sukhovetsky, Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, Major General Andrei Kolesnikov, Major General Oleg Mityaev, Lt Gen Andrei Mordvichev and Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev.

Berrier is not the only prominent military figure to comment on Russia’s loss of generals.

James Stavridis, former NATO supreme allied commander for Europe, said in early May there was “no comparable situation in terms of the deaths of generals,” showing the “amazing incompetence” of the Russian military.

Overall, Russia largely failed to deliver the rapid takeover of Ukraine originally hoped for by the Kremlin due to the unexpected resistance of the Ukrainian population. In the more than two months of fighting, the Russian military suffered many setbacks, including casualties that British intelligence described as “unsustainable.”

news week has asked the Russian Foreign Ministry for an opinion.

https://www.newsweek.com/putins-generals-are-being-killed-because-weak-chain-command-us-1705372 Putin’s Generals Killed Over Weak Chain of Command: USA

Rick Schindler

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