Second Russian general killed

MG Gerasimov

A Russian general has been killed near the besieged city of Kharkiv, according to Ukrainian officials, making him the second senior Russian commander to die in the invasion. 

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, the first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, died on Monday alongside other senior officials. 

The Kremlin has been distracted by logistical issues and Ukrainian military commanders have claimed that the advance of Russia has been slowed by heavy losses and the “demoralisation” of its troops. 

According to US intelligence, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has committed all of its troops congregated on the border into battle without making any significant territorial gains since late last week. 

Russian forces are “demoralised and increasingly tend to looting and violations of international humanitarian law,” Ukrainian commanders said.

If the claims are verified, Gerasimov would become the second Russian general from the 41st army to die within a week. 

Andrei Sukhovetsky was reportedly killed at the end of February.

Gerasimov was a decorated officer, having served during the second Chechen war, Russia’s activity in Syria, and the annexation of Crimea. 

Bellingcat, an investigative journalism agency, said it had confirmed his death, which emerged after an alleged conversation between two Russian FSB officers was broadcast by the intelligence arm of the Ukrainian defence ministry. 

The leaked conversation suggests Russia’s expensive new encrypted messaging service is already struggling to work, which would be a major blow for the Kremlin.

“Era is a super expensive cryptophone system that [Russia’s defence ministry] introduced in 2021 with great fanfare … guaranteed [to] work ‘in all conditions,'” said Christo Grozev, Bellingcat’s director.

Mr Grozev said that during the phone call, an FSB officer assigned to the 41st army reported the death to a senior official, saying they had lost all secure communications. 

Comment: Well, nothing so improves troop morale as a general killed in the front line. It shows that the brass hats are sharing the risk.

I wonder if this fellow was kin to the chief of staff of the Russian armed forces. pl

Second Russian general killed on the battlefield as ‘demoralised’ troops suffer heavy losses (

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45 Responses to Second Russian general killed

  1. sbin says:

    Bellingcat is hardly a quality news source.
    Baghdad Bob and the White Helmets are more trustworthy.
    How many of the thousands of America generals have died in conflict recently.
    Be curious who the last one was.

  2. TTG says:

    Here’s some more info on the Russian Army’s lack of secure communications.

    “The idiots tried to use the Era crypto-phones in Kharkiv, after destroying many 3G cell towers and also replacing others with stingrays. Era needs 3G/4G to communicate.
    The Russian army is equipped with secure phones that can’t work in areas where the Russian army operates.”

    “And amazingly, it turns out Ukrainian intelligence knew this because Russian officers are communicating with their headquarters using unencrypted cell phones, connecting to local Ukrainian cellular networks. In the middle of a war.”

    “Based on other reporting, they brought radios made for the amateur radio service. Unencrypted comms, open to jamming and interception. If their main encrypted system doesn’t work, that might help explain it, but perhaps regulars weren’t even issued Era phones.”

    I’ve seen another video showing Russians attempting to communicate over unsecure HF radio. It was being jammed with the Ukrainian national anthem. Beyond the practicality of jamming, hearing the anthem over Russian comms would have a demoralizing effect. Another photo shows a Russian Su-34 using an American made commercial GPS device mounted above the instrument panel in the cockpit. How’s that for operational security? Of course, there’s no way to tell if this Su-34 was on an operational sortie in Ukraine.

    The problem with Era shows the rot in Russian logistics extends to communications. It appears that the old Soviet problems of graft and thievery have not been fully solved. I bet Putin was just as surprised at the less than stellar performance of Russian armed forces as most of us were.

    • Pat Lang says:

      I wonder if their nukes work.

    • Lysias says:

      Insecure communications would be a good way to communicate disinformation.

    • TV says:

      My mother was the Director of the Anglo-American embassy school in Moscow in 1968.
      Spent a year, no more, hated the place.
      Said that nothing worked – handles fell off doors, elevators didn’t work – and the entire country was drunk.
      Given Russian history back to the Czars, a badly led, inept and brutal military is just more of the same.

    • Fred says:

      What happened to Russia’s vaunted “radio-electronic combat”?

      • TTG says:

        That’s a damned good question, Fred. Seems it was mostly hype. The Russians must have scoured the entire defense establishment for the best people and best pieces of equipment for their Syria project because that was and is as competent and successful as can be. I do believe Russia, for all the advances it made in the last 20 years, remains a kleptocracy.

      • Leith says:

        It was mostly hype. Or marketing spin to sell Russian weapons. What they do have is mostly brute force jammers, few if any sophisticated spoofers. And the stuff they had in Syria was either not very effective against IDF & US strikes, or not used.

        Plus the early on Russian troops in the Ukraine were Rosgvardia or VDV, who didn’t have heavy duty EW gear to bring with them.

  3. joe90 says:

    Bellingcat is one of the UK Foreign Office dumping ground for the sons of toffs who want to play spy. Needless to say the UK is not in the habit of informing the Russians that they have been cracked. One day something Bellingcat posts will align with reality and no one will understand how it happened.

  4. walrus says:

    If the Russian comms are broken that’s the end of it. The problem now becomes how to remove Putin before he triggers a nuclear attack.

    Losing two Generals sounds careless.

    • Harry says:

      They have history doing it. Apparently the graveyards are full of indispensable men.

    • Bill Roche says:

      Two general officers in 13 days, wow. Is it common for Russian senior officers to be in the thick of things or is there more here than meets the eye?

  5. Old Gun Pilot says:

    “Nothing is as good for the morale of the troops as occasionally to see a dead general”
    Field Marshall Sir William Slim, Commander 14th Army-Burma

  6. MJ says:

    More on the Kleptocracy:

    If the Russian Defense budget is something like 60+ Billion a year.

    Corruption rate is 28%

    Add in 10% in “typical” fraud, waste, and abuse with any bureaucratic military budget (making this number up it’s probably worse).

    Your looking at approximately 40% of the annual defense budget not actually being spent on the Russian Military.

  7. Lysias says:

    Is Valery Gerasimov any relation of Vitaly Gerasimov?

    • Pat Lang says:

      I asked that. Can’t you read English?

    • Leith says:

      It’s a common name in Russia. Definitely not Valery’s son since his patronymic is Petrovich. Could be a nephew or a distant relation? We’ll find out soon.

  8. kodlu says:

    Sounds like he may well be the Chief of Staff’s son. Some online Russian sources I searched with Valery Gerasimov’s bio info seemed to have been removed.

    The report below by the Turkish government broadcaster is not necessarily accurate but has some interesting details:

    “Young Gerasimov was born on July 9, 1977 in Kazan. He graduated from the Kazan Higher Tank Command School in 1999.

    Russia’s military chief was also born in Kazan in 1955, and also graduated from the same tank command school in 1977.

    [The] Young general, whose full name is Vitaly Petrovich Gerasimov, does not appear to be the son of the elder one as his patronymic name, Petrovitch, means that he is the son of Petro. Nevertheless, there could be a connection between the two.

    Some users on social media have claimed that the Russian general killed in Kharkiv was nephew of the chief of staff. But, we are not able to verify this claim. “

  9. kodlu says:

    Sorry I meant to edit the beginning sentence to “he may well be related” but clicked on post.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      From your link:

      “The authorities of the Republic of Poland, after consultations between the President and the Government, are ready to deploy – immediately and free of charge – all their MIG-29 jets to the Ramstein Air Base and place them at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America”

      Russia has said if any aircraft fly into Ukrainian airspace from a NATO country they will hit the bases they took off from. I guess the Blinken/Nuland plan was to get the Poles to fly the MiG’s directly into Ukraine. Transferring them to Ramstein was definitely not part of the plan. I expect they will go nowhere.

  10. Fred says:

    I suspect the Russian army will be a heck of a lot better soon. Will the Ukrainians get better, or ‘even better’, before they get ground down?

  11. drifter says:

    So what’s everybody’s take on how this is going to play out? Looks like Russian forces control all of the internal lines of communication in the Eastern part of Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have fallen back on population centers. Endgame is cauldrons and surrender.

    In Western Ukraine, Ukrainian military has no significant ground combat forces. So … fin.

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