James Stavridis, the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, said that Russia’s “amazing incompetence” in Ukraine has resulted in a loss of generals and other top officers that is unprecedented in modern history.
In an interview that aired Sunday with John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM, the Greek-American Vice Chairman of the Carlyle Group, an American multinational private equity, alternative asset management, and financial services corporation, said that at least a dozen Russian generals were killed.
“In modern history, there is no situation comparable in terms of the deaths of generals,” it was said, and “Here, on the Russian side, in a two-month period, we’ve seen at least a dozen, if not more, Russian generals killed.”
For comparison, Stavridis cited recent American conflicts, saying that “not a single general was lost in actual combat” in the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“It’s not just the generals being killed,” said Stavridis of the Russian military, additionally noting “their inability to conduct logistics…bad battle plan” and “loss of their flagship at sea.”
“It’s been a bad performance by the Russians thus far,” Stavridis said.
Russian generals and top military personnel who have reportedly been killed in the invasion include Deputy Commander of the 8th Army Maj. Gen. Vladimir Petrovich Frolo; Deputy Commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District Andrei Sukhovetsky; Maj. Gen. Vitaly Gerasimov; Lt. Gen Yakov Rezantsev; and Col. Sergei Sukharev, commander of the elite 331st Guards Airborne Regiment.
Stavridis on Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine
In addition to slamming Russian President Vladimir Putin for military “incompetence,” the former commander also accused him of unleashing war crimes on Ukraine, beginning with “the illegal invasion of a neighbor and a democracy,” including “massacring” civilians, destroying cities and “using rape as a weapon of war.”
Stavridis said Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, who Russia placed in charge of its invasion of Ukraine last month, is “well known to Western intelligence as the ‘Butcher of Syria.’”
Dvornikov commanded Russian forces in Syria for a year beginning in 2015. Western officials and human rights organizations condemned tactics employed there under Dvornikov’s command.
Stavridis added that “Vladimir Putin is creating the expansion of NATO by his unwarranted attack on a neighbor,” saying 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,” Stavridis added, citing Japan as one of the powerful non-NATO countries in opposition to Russia.
Stavridis and his Greek roots
Stavridis’ paternal grandparents were Asia Minor Greeks who immigrated to the United States after they were forced out of their homes by the Turks following the Asia Minor catastrophe of 1922.
In his 2008 book Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command, Stavridis writes:
In the early 1920s, my grandfather, a short, stocky Greek schoolteacher named Dimitrios Stavridis, was expelled from Turkey as part of ‘ethnic cleansing’ (read pogrom) directed against Greeks living in the remains of the Ottoman Empire. He barely escaped with his life in a small boat crossing the Aegean Sea to Athens and thence to Ellis Island. His brother was not so lucky and was killed by the Turks as part of the violence directed at the Greek minority.
In a recent interview with Greek Reporter he said that he is still very connected to Greece: “I have many friends in the Greek government, in the Greek military and I try to stay on top of Greek issues so I can be helpful to Greece here in the U.S.”
His Greek heritage has given him three Greek qualities, he said, namely: “First the love of education, a love of learning, a love of books; secondly, the concept of filotimo, of honor, of caring, of doing the right thing; and thirdly, optimism.”