It is rare for a senior general to be killed in battle, but at least four, or as many as eight, of the Russian military have been killed in the Ukraine war. What does this phenomenon mean for the Russian military? In May, the pilot of a Russian Su-25 was shot down over the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, prompting a litany of questions.
Why let a 63-year-old pilot fly company banner design such a complex fighter? First of all, the major general retired 10 years ago, why was he allowed to fly into the air for combat? Why was another Russian general killed in the line of fire? How many senior Russian generals have been killed so far? Unraveling this mystery can provide insight into the state of Russia's war machine and the cost it has paid for the war in Ukraine -- including its top generals. "Unique Pilot" _125576432_236f3842-7ec0-4bca-81f1-6a545 Photo Credit: Getty Images / BBC News This is the Su-25 fighter jet shot down in Ukraine Major General Kanamat Botashev, despite his high rank, age and retirement, is a skilled and respected Russian Air Force pilot. On the fateful day, he returned to the fighter jet to take part in the battle.
The BBC interviewed three of his former subordinates, who said he was "reluctant to leave" the Russian army's "special military operation", the term (Moscow for) Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. “He was a one-of-a-kind pilot,” a former colleague of Botashev told us. “There are very few people on earth who are as obsessed with the blue sky as he is.” “I will always be proud to serve under him, ' said another colleague.