Thousands of Russian soldiers have lost their lives since the Ukraine war broke out. Many high-ranking Russian military personnel are also among the dead.
Now the Ukrainian armed forces have once again eliminated a highly decorated Russian soldier. On Sunday, the Russian Air Force General Kanamat Botashev († 63) was shot down over the Luhansk region. The fighter pilot died.
Three former soldiers have confirmed Botashev’s death to the “BBC”. The general shouldn’t actually take part in the war at all. The 63-year-old was recently retired. According to the BBC, he was then ordered back to active duty because Russia had a shortage of specialists, especially in the air.
Botashew completed a picture book career. He is said to have served as a sniper pilot for many years. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, such training takes between ten and twelve years. He quickly climbed the career ladder in the Russian military hierarchy, eventually being appointed General of the Air Force.
He flew planes that he should not have flown
The crash followed in 2012 – also in the direct sense of the word. Botashev was responsible for the loss of a Russian fighter jet. Although he shouldn’t have flown this model, the general ignored all regulations and got into the cockpit, accompanied by another jet.
He then wanted to perform a few tricks in the air. The general lost control of the fighter plane. The leading jet then went into a spin and finally crashed. Botashev defended himself in court with the words: “I only wanted to fly such a fighter plane, but I did not consider that such a plane has its own characteristics”.
The trial showed that Botashev had already committed a similar crime a year earlier. At that time, too, he had flown a jet without a permit. The court subsequently sentenced him to a four-year suspended sentence and a fine equivalent to CHF 85,000.
After the trial and his conviction, Botashev retired from the ranks of the armed forces. After Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the general left civilian life and rejoined the army. Several soldiers told the BBC their former commander “just couldn’t stay away” from the war. (ced)