It’s a disaster for Russia’s Airborne Forces as they lose their commander of the 104th Air Assault Regiment’s 2nd Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Dosyagaev. Dosyagaev joins his comrades in the list of high-ranking Russian military officials killed in Ukraine in just a span of 4 months of fighting.

Ukraine’s Strategic Communications published last May 28th that Dosyagaev was killed at an undisclosed location, revealing that he was part of the Winged Infantry of Russia. While we cannot verify the death of the lieutenant colonel, a VKontakte profile that provides updates on the Russian Airborne Forces had posted on May 27th a profile of Dosyagaev.

Apparently, he was very young, having been born in 1989, entering the Ryazan Higher Airborne Twice Red Banner Command in 2011. After finishing his schooling, he immediately joined the 104th Guards Airborne Assault Red Banner Regiment of the 76th Guards Airborne Assault Chernihiv Red Banner Division.

While it does not explicitly state that the lieutenant colonel had died, the comments section of the post was full of Russians sending the commander off as if he had already died. More so, it was also filled with discussions about whether the commander had really died or not.

“Sleep well, combat [comrade],” a certain Arytom Panov said. “You will always remain in my memory as one of the best officers of the Airborne Forces. It is a pity to lose such servicemen. It takes pride that I served side by side with you.🙏🙏🙏,” he continued, indicating that he had served with Dosyagaev.

Furthermore, a certain Katya Lyubimova claimed that “he died” and accused the admin of “not explaining what happened.”

“Tragically, he died. Remark to admins, this is not the first time you post a photo and do not explain – something happened to a person or just want to talk about his biography,” she said.

The page replied, “Katya, we do not have official information from the Ministry of Defense, so this post is to be known and remembered by major Dosyagaev’s guards.”

While we’re not entirely sure what the reply from the page meant, the majority of the comments are indeed saying that he had died and wished his soul well.

His death comes with the further news of killed high-ranking military personnel, including Russian Lieutenant Colonel Denis Babich and Deputy Commander of the 137th Guards Airborne Regiment, 106th Guards Airborne Division Alexander Denisov.

Furthermore, his death comes after retired Russian General Pilot Kanamat Botashev was allegedly shot down in Popasna while flying a Su-25.

Are the Deaths of Russian High-ranking Military Officials Surprising At This Point?

Well, we have to ask you guys, our readers, whether this news still surprises you? We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt as it is difficult to confirm losses in wars, especially without photographic or video evidence. Still, with the huge number of high-ranking Russian military officers getting killed in Ukraine, it somehow does not surprise us anymore.

Recent intel from the British Ministry of Defense revealed that Russia had suffered huge and devastating losses among its mid and junior ranking officers in the conflict.

“Brigade and battalion commanders likely deploy forwards into harm’s way because they are held to an uncompromising level of responsibility for their units’ performance. Similarly, junior officers have had to lead the lowest level tactical actions, as the army lacks the cadre of highly trained and empowered non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who fulfill that role in Western forces,” they reported.

“The loss of large proportion of the younger generation of professional officers will likely exacerbate its ongoing problems in modernizing its approach to command and control,” they continued.

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SOFREP has repeatedly said that the loss of high-ranking officers among the Russian military is structural to their command and control methods.  The Russian army lacks a career NCO cadre and its junior officers are not empowered to take initiative on their own authority.  They take on the role of NCo with only a couple of years of active duty while in the US system a Sergeant leading a squad has seven or eight years in uniform. It’s not a secret that Russia had deployed thousands of Russian conscripts to war without any training, with a lot of them being lied to about their location and their real intentions in Ukraine. Many of them did not even have a clue that they were already in Ukraine. These conscripts serve for a single year, while their so-called professional soldiers under contract serve for just three years.

As a result, it requires officers with the rank of LT Colonel or Colonel to do things that a 1st LT would be able to do in the US service branches.

The Russians are paying for their own incompetence. Thinking that a conscript army could take on the Ukrainian Armed Forces was a severe underestimation on their part. With generals going to the frontlines and subsequently getting killed, it’s not surprising that they’re not really advancing at the rate they would have wanted since they’re also losing the trained personnel with combat knowledge.

The British Defense Ministry further reports that there has been credible information that there are a bunch of localized mutinies happening among Russian forces in Ukraine, which is also contributing to the loss of morale and poor discipline. This is what happens when a country forces its troops to fight a country that their soldiers know did not do anything to deserve it, thus not having any motivation to fight.

Commander of the VDV's 104th Air Assault Regiment's 2nd battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Dosyagaev allegedly killed in Ukraine (Rob Lee). Source:
Commander of the VDV’s 104th Air Assault Regiment’s 2nd battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Dosyagaev allegedly killed in Ukraine (Rob Lee/Twitter)

Furthermore, this is also evidence of the huge wave of low morale within their ranks, possibly exacerbated due to the lack of supplies they may be experiencing. Recent reports from within Russia indicate that the Russian populace is currently crowdfunding their military by themselves as logistics challenges continue in Ukraine. People have banded together by raising money to buy staple items like food, clothing, and military equipment such as drones, scopes, and night vision goggles to help the Russian forces fight in Donbas. American civilians send things to our troops overseas, but they tend to be comfort items that the military does not provide.  As we wrote recently, the most popular food item requested by US troops apparently is Chef Boyardee canned ravioli, not night vision goggles.

With more than 12 generals killed in Ukraine, tons of high-ranking military officers left to be Ukrainian fertilizer, and some 30,000 troops killed on Ukrainian soil, does Russia still have the manpower and money to keep this war going?

Intel seems to say that they’re running out of troops real fast. Even with Chechen forces and alleged Syrian mercenaries recruitment, Russia has already extended their military recruitment to men over the age of 40 and foreigners over the age of 30 to help them fight the Ukrainians. As many as one-third of eligible conscripts in Russia evade being drafted in peacetime and we imagine that even more will want to evade it to avoid being sent to the meatgrinder that Ukraine is becoming.