Retired Admiral James Stavridis said severe missteps have led to deaths among top Russian officers.
Stavridis said Russia has so far displayed "amazing incompetence" in its invasion of Ukraine.
"In modern history, there is no situation comparable in terms of the deaths of generals," he said.
James Stavridis, a former NATO supreme allied commander for Europe, said on Sunday that the "amazing incompetence" of the Russian military in invading Ukraine has led to an unprecedented number of deaths among generals and other high-ranking officers.
Stavridis made the observation about the Russian forces during a WABC 770 AM radio interview with New York businessman John Catsimatidis.
"In modern history, there is no situation comparable in terms of the deaths of generals. … Here, on the Russian side, in a two-month period, we've seen at least a dozen, if not more, Russian generals killed," he told Catsimatidis.
Stavridis noted that "not a single general was lost in actual combat" while the US engaged in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"It's not just the generals being killed," he said of the Russian military, but pointed to its dysfunctional logistical practices and middling battle plans, along with the loss of its Black Sea flagship Moskva.
"It's been a bad performance by the Russians thus far," he added.
Top Russian military leaders who have reportedly been killed include Vladimir Petrovich Frolov, the deputy commander of the 8th Army; Vitaly Gerasimov, the first deputy commander of the 41st Army; and Sergei Sukharev, a top paratroop commander of the 331st Guards Parachute Assault Regiment.
Stavridis blasted Russia for committing war crimes throughout the country, starting with "the illegal invasion of a neighbor and a democracy" and escalating the battle to include the "massacring" of civilians.
The commander said that Gen. Alexander Dvornikov — who was installed by Moscow to lead the conflict — is "well known to Western intelligence as the 'Butcher of Syria.'"
Dvornikov led Russian forces in Syria in 2015, and human rights groups are closely monitoring his efforts.
Stavridis said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was "creating the expansion of NATO by his unwarranted attack on a neighbor," nothing that "more nations may join NATO as a result of this, notably Sweden and Finland, which [have] very capable militaries."
"It's not just the NATO alliance. It's the democracies around the world," he added, pointing to Japan's strong opposition to Russia's actions.
Last month, retired Gen. David Petraeus — a former Central Intelligence Agency director who led the 101st Airborne Division during the War in Iraq in 2003 and commanded US forces in Afghanistan — echoed similar sentiments, telling CNN that Russian military forces were "just surprisingly unprofessional" in fulfilling their mission in Ukraine.
"They clearly have very poor standards when it comes to performing basic tactical tasks such as achieving combined arms operations, involving armor, infantry, engineers, artillery and mortars," he said.
He added: "We have known for decades that the Soviet system, now the Russian system, has always lacked one of the key strengths of US and Western militaries, which is a strong, professional non-commissioned officer corps."
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