Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” to explain the Russian army’s latest moves invading Ukraine, host Jake Tapper pressed retired Gen. David Petraeus to explain why so many Russian generals have died in just three short weeks.

Pointing out that he was only aware of one American general who was lost in Afghanistan after years in the country, host Jake Tapper noted reports that the Russians have seen a reported five generals killed already.

‘The Ukrainians say they have killed five Russian generals; CNN has not confirmed that,” host Tapper prompted. “Another is saying Russian soldiers don’t appear to be particularly motivated. I can only recall one American general being killed in Afghanistan in the entire conflict, and that was a green-on-blue insider attack, it’s not common.”

“Very, very uncommon,” the retired general and former CIA director agreed. “This is in the first three weeks. These are quite senior generals. The bottom line is their command and control has broken down, the communications have been jammed by the Ukrainians; they had to go to a single channel which is jammable — that’s what the Ukrainians have been doing.

“They [the Russians] use cell phones, and Ukrainians blocked the prefix for Russia,” he continued with a smile. “They took down 3G. They’re stealing cell phones from Ukrainian civilians. The column gets stopped and an impatient general goes forward to see what’s going on, because there’s no initiative, no non-commissioned officer corps, no sense of initiative at junior levels — they wait to be told what to do. Gets up there, and the Ukrainians have very, very good snipers and have been picking them off.”

“At least four of the five have been confirmed, I think the fifth we’ll hear about today,” he added.


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