Every Russian commander who led the invasion of Ukraine has lost their job, former UK defence secretary says

Putin and generals
Russian President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, at a parade in Saint Petersburg on July 30, 2023.ALEXANDER KAZAKOV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
  • Russia is losing in its war against Ukraine, the UK's former defense secretary said.

  • He said none of the Russian commanders behind the invasion still had their jobs 19 months in.

  • Ben Wallace called on Ukraine's allies to step up their support.

None of the commanders who led Russia into its full-scale war with Ukraine in 2022 are still in their jobs, the former British Defence Secretary said.

Ben Wallace, who recently stepped down from his position, wrote an op-ed about the war in The Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

Wallace, an ardent backer of Ukraine, called for more Western support and made the case that Russia is losing.

As well as the departure of many military leaders, he gave steep figures for Russian losses in the fighting.

"This war can be won. Vladimir Putin is failing. Just as the human emotion drives Ukraine to success, it is also the inescapable flaw in Putin and his criminal regime," wrote Wallace

"Romance, ego and revenge drove Putin to cross into Ukraine and it will be his undoing. His army has lost more than 2,500 tanks, 6,500 armoured vehicles and nearly 300,000 dead or injured. Not a single commander who led the major Russian units into Ukraine is still in place."

Ben Wallace
British then Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace and German Foreign Minister Boris Pistorius (not pictured) speak to the media following talks on May 17, 2023 in Berlin, Germany.Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Wallace didn't go into detail on the commanders to have changed place, or which Russian units he considered "major."

Moves in the upper circles of the Russian military can be difficult to follow, with reports abounding of senior officers being punished or stripped of power behind closed doors.

Wallace said that Ukraine was succeeding in its counteroffensive. In recent weeks, Ukraine has made incremental but important gains in seeking to break through Russian defensive positions in south and east Ukraine.

"Slowly but surely, the Ukrainian armed forces are breaking through the Russian lines," Wallace wrote.

"Ukraine has the momentum and is pressing forward."

Russia initially seemed to expect Ukraine to collapse in a matter of days or weeks. But the war is now in its 19th month, with Russia holding around a fifth of Ukrainian territory.

The Kremlin has fired or demoted a steady stream of generals since the invasion, with the The Washington Post reporting last year that nine had lost their jobs as the Kremlin sought to shift the blame for failings on the front line.

June's rebellion by the Wagner mercenary group saw another wave of reprisals, including of Sergey Surovikin, credited with masterminding Russia's defensive strategy.

Read the original article on Business Insider