Ukraine has killed between “eight and ten” Russian generals during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
US officials have closely watched the climbing number of general officer deaths in the Russian military — an unusually high number for a modern military that far outstrips the number of US generals lost during 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan.
Some US officials have attributed that atypically high figure in part to the intelligence support provided by the United States, while others believe it is because Russian generals are being forced to operate far more forward in the conflict zone than would normally be expected in order to motivate their troops.
“Does the fact that Russia is losing all these generals suggest to you that these generals are having to go forward to ensure their orders are executed?” Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton asked.
“Yes,” DIA head Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier said.
Overall, Berrier said that Ukraine is better poised to field motivated soldiers in the conflict — even as its military is far smaller than the Russian force.
“I think the Ukrainians have it right in terms of grit and how they face the defense of their nation,” Berrier said. “I’m not sure that Russian soldiers from the far-flung Russian military districts really understand that.”