Russian Gen. Andrei Sukhovetsky came to Ukraine to spread death. This week, it caught up with him.
Sukhovetsky, the commanding general of the Russian 7th Airborne Division and a deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army, died in combat, Russian and Ukrainian media reported on Thursday.
The U.K.’s Independent quoted a source as saying the 47-year-old general had been killed by a sniper.
“The fact is, we killed him,” former Ukraine Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan, who has joined the militia in Kyiv, told Fox News.
Christo Grozev, executive director of the website Bellingcat, said the general’s death would be a “major demotivator” for the Russian army.
Maj. Gen Sukhovetskiy last year: “We train our officers to fight online: you see, you destroy”
Seems Ukrainian officers stole that concept.https://t.co/gG0R4H3JB1
— Christo Grozev (@christogrozev) March 3, 2022
In a speech, Russian leader Vladimir Putin confirmed a general had been killed, the Independent reported.
Sergey Chipilev, a deputy of the Combat Brotherhood Russian veterans group, posted about the general’s death on social media, the state-run Pravda and others reported.
“With great pain, we learned the tragic news of the death of our friend, Major General Andrey Sukhovetsky, on the territory of Ukraine during the special operation,” Chipilev said. “We express our deepest condolences to his family.”
Russian Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky killed by Ukrainians in blow to Putin https://t.co/qLJkhhfNUW
— The Independent (@Independent) March 3, 2022
According to Russia, 498 of its soldiers have been killed in Ukraine and 1,597 have been wounded.
As Ukraine continues to resist the overwhelming firepower of the Russian army, experts said its nimble approach has been one key to its survival.
“In combat, it’s always different than what you thought it’d be, and the side that learns faster and adapts faster will win out,” said Frederick B. Hodges of the Center for European Policy Analysis, a former top U.S. Army commander in Europe, according to The New York Times. “So far, Ukraine is learning and adapting faster.”
U.S. Special Operations Forces have trained Ukrainian military forces since 2014.
Commentators said Ukraine has achieved success in defending cities and stinging Russia beyond the front lines.
“In city defense and skirmishing on the outskirts of cities, Ukrainian forces are doing quite well,” said Michael Kofman, director of Russia studies at CNA, a defense research institute. “The shambolic nature of the Russian war effort undoubtedly helps.”
“The art of mechanized maneuver warfare is being able to concentrate overwhelming combat power at decisive sections of the front, places of your choosing,” said Frederick W. Kagan, a military strategist “The Russians, astonishingly, failed to do that. But the Ukrainians have taken advantage of their ability to move reinforcements rapidly and counterattack.”
Some reports suggest Russian military may be staging a fake pro-Russian for TV protest to “greet” troops in occupied Kherson. But this, a pro-Ukrainian protest in occupied, militarised Melitopol, does not appear to be fake. “One. United. Free Ukraine,” the crowds are shouting pic.twitter.com/HFzjB7XVxw
— Oliver Carroll (@olliecarroll) March 4, 2022
The two armies “have been much more evenly matched at the tactical level than they should have been, had the Russians conducted the operations well,” Kagan said. “The Ukrainians have just been much smarter about this than the Russians.”
Thomas Bullock, an open-source analyst from Janes, a defense intelligence firm, said Ukraine has exploited Russian mistakes.
“It looks like the Ukrainians have been most successful when ambushing Russian troops,” Bullock said.
Russian units, he said, “have stuck to main roads so that they can move quickly and not risk getting bogged down in mud. But they are advancing on winding roads and their flanks and supply routes are overly exposed to Ukrainian attacks. And that is where they have had their most success.”
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