War in Ukraine: The Mysterious Deaths of Russian Generals in Combat

  • Olga Ivshina and Kateryna Khinkulova
  • BBC Russian

Кanamat Botashev

Credit, Кanamat Botashev

photo caption,

Major General Kanamat Botashev (retired) was an experienced and respected pilot

When a sophisticated Russian Su-25 jet was shot down over the Donbas region in May, questions arose over the pilot’s death.

Why was a 63-year-old man using such advanced weaponry?

What was a retired military man, who had left the Russian military some ten years earlier, doing on the plane? Why did yet another Russian general lose his life in the line of fire? And exactly how many Russian generals have been killed in this war?

Unraveling this mystery tells us a lot about Russia’s military situation and the human cost of war—with even the deaths of high-ranking officers.

About Abhishek Pratap

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