One of Russia's most prestigious airborne regiments has lost 3 commanders, UK Intel says

  • Russia's military is suffering from "extreme attrition and high turnover," the UK MoD says.

  • This problem persists even in its most senior ranks, highlighted by frequent changes in an elite regiment.

  • Russia has lost multiple senior commanders during the conflict in Ukraine.

There is "extreme attrition and high turnover" in the Russian military, even among its senior ranks, the UK Ministry Defence said in an intelligence update on Saturday.

The department pointed to the high turnover of commanders of the Russian 247th Guards Air Assault Regiment, one of Russia's most prestigious airborne regiments.

Colonel Vasily Popov, the regiment's commander, died during battle on September 14, making him the third person to lead the regiment since the war began in February 2022.

He had replaced his predecessor, Colonel Pyotr Popov, just weeks prior, after the colonel resigned, possibly in protest against the Russian military's failure to retrieve the bodies of dead soldiers, the UK department said, citing Russian media sources.

The regiment's first commander, Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky, was killed in battle in the early weeks of the war.

This particular regiment's high turnover highlights a a persistent problem across the Russian military, the UK department noted.

While Russia has never confirmed casualty numbers, US officials estimated in August that military casualties are approaching 300,000, of which as many as 120,000 are deaths.

The estimates suggest that battlefield deaths have risen sharply this year.

These deaths are not only among the lower ranks of the army, as many senior Russian commanders have been reported to have been killed in action throughout the conflict.

Ukraine said on Saturday that top Russian military commanders were among those killed or wounded in a missile strike that targeted the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Crimea on Friday.

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