Russian General killed after missile attack on aircraft amid ‘disastrous’ Russian morale

Ukraine: Royal Navy Black Sea plan sparks Russian conflict fears

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The General was flying a ground attack aircraft following an attack and was then hit by an anti-aircraft missile that was fired by paratroopers from the Ukrainian side.  Major General Kanamat Botashev, 63, had no time to eject from his aircraft and was killed immediately in the explosion.

Botashev was shot down on Sunday by a Stinger anti-aircraft missile in a battle for the eastern city of Luhansk. 

It has been claimed by the Ukrainian forces that he is the 13th Russian general to have been killed by their forces. 

Ukraine has claimed to have shot down 205 Russian fixed-wing aircraft and 170 helicopters since the beginning of the invasion. 

The General’s death and the above claims from the Ukrainians are an embarrassment for President Putin who has failed to achieve air dominance over the last three months.

President Zelensky has repeatedly called upon Ukraine’s allies to supply the nation with longer-range air defence systems and fighter jets in order to fight off Russian air power.

Western military experts have been shocked by the hit rates in the senior ranks of the Russian forces as a former NATO allied commander said the situation is unparalleled in recent conflicts. 

Retired Admiral James Stavridis told WABC 770 AM radio: “In modern history, there is no situation comparable in terms of the deaths of generals.”

Former commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Riho Terras told Express.co.uk: “The spirit in the Russian troops is disastrous.

“Why is it that so many high-ranking commanders, generals have been killed?

“Because they need to go to the troops in the front and try and encourage them to fight and get killed themselves.”

He added: “It only shows me that the spirit is not there.”

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Despite the low sense of morale in the Russian side and the supposed anger to their leader, according to Mr Tirras there will not be a revolt any time soon.

He said: “The fear is there, because the alternative is that your family will be harassed back home, you will be executed, jailed, whatever.

“That is the old Second World War Russian community type thinking which keeps them going.”

He concluded: “I don’t see a revolt coming – not in the lower ranks and not in the Kremlin.”

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