Another Russian general dies in Ukraine

| May 26, 2022

Major General Kanamat Botashev and an Su-25 Frogfoot

Yet another Russian general has fallen in their war on Ukraine (the claimed 13th flag officer lost by the Russian). This time, he was flying. Retired Russian Air Force Major General Kanamat Botashev is reported to have been flying an Su-25 “Frogfoot” close air support fighter jet taken down by a shoulder-fired Stinger anti-aircraft missile. It’s not clear in exactly what capacity he was operating, and it’s postulated that he was flying for the Wagner Group. You’ll recall the Wagner Group is the Russian mercenary organization led by actual Nazis (the very name “Wagner” comes from Hitler’s favorite German composer) and heavily connected to Putin. Here’s a photo of Lt. Col. Dmitry “Wagner” Utkin with Putin. 

Aside from his questionable career choices post-retirement and his affiliation with Nazis, it sounds like General Botashev was quite the character.

The Drive has the story;

In a real-life spin on Top Gun: Maverick’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a 63-year-old retired Russian major general was shot out of the sky by a Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile while flying an Su-25 over Ukraine, the BBC reports.

The BBC’s Russian Service said it had confirmed the report of Kanamat Botashev’s death with three of his former subordinates.

But one thing is certain. Botashev, like the fictional Maverick, has a hot dog history of his own.

His storied Russian military aviation career ended in June 2012, the BBC reported, after being accused of crashing a Su-27 fighter near Petrozavodsk.

Botashev was actually twice dinged for his antics. He was suspended from flying in 2011 for a similar violation, according to Russian state-run media outlet TASS.

Then, on June 28, 2012, Botashev ran tactical flight exercises at the Besovets Air Base in Karelia. He decided, without undergoing proper training and pre-flight medical checks, “to fly a two-seat Su-27UB fighter jet.” Not only that, but he also “decided to participate in performing aerial weather reconnaissance.”

During that flight, Botashev “ordered the pilot of the aircraft, the commander of the Besovetskaya air group, Colonel Yevgeny Oleinik, to transfer control of the machine to him and began to perform aerobatics not provided for by the flight task,” according to TASS.

Things didn’t turn out too well.

“When performing the ‘bell’ figure, due to errors in piloting, the fighter entered the ‘inverted corkscrew’ position, and it was not possible to correct it. Both pilots ejected at an altitude of about 500 m [~1,640 feet],” TASS reported.

Last week, Ukraine officials reported they shot down an Su-25, which apparently was the one piloted by Botashev.

It is unknown at the moment whether Botashev was flying with or without the approval of Russian military aviation officials, or whether he was flying on behalf of the Wagner Group or any other private military contractor.

“Botashev is/was an interesting character,” Dave Winslow, a retired Army intelligence Chief Warrant Officer who has tracked the Wagner Group tells The War Zone. “It’s certainly possible that he was hired by Wagner, or another PMC, after his retirement.”

More at the source. Including some discussion on how a man in his 60s is probably not the best choice to be operating a high performance jet in combat.

Category: Russia, Ukraine

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

From the article Mason posted:

“In a real-life spin on Top Gun: Maverick’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a 63-year-old retired Russian major general was shot out of the sky by a Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile while flying an Su-25 over Ukraine….one thing is certain. Botashev, like the fictional Maverick, has a hot dog history of his own…”

Perfect timing for flying in The Danger Zone (24 May 2022..That Movie That Shalt Not Be Named).

His Goose Got Cooked.

63? He should had been playing Volleyball instead…

Poor Mick and AW1Ed….


😎😉 gabn


Another doggy barking?*grin*

‘Sides, even Maverick wouldn’t wear a goofy hat like that.


“Sides, even Maverick wouldn’t wear a goofy hat like that….”


Calling on The Chipster…Or Other Talented Artists!

Can The Chipster or Others replace Botashev’s face/profile with Ole Les Grossman, I mean Maverick, I mean Cruise’s face in the photo Mason provided?



Not exactly mine but I’m kinda responsible for this indirectly.


Where did he stow that monstrous lid when he was flying?

Sure as hell wouldn’t fit in a flight suit lower leg pocket like where we used to keep our pisscutters while we were flying.


Thing must have had its own pelican case.


ninja, it does this Old Dirt Digging Doggy’s Gun Bunny Heart good to see that an ossifer of your caliber is keeping up with the DA Form 6 and seeing whose day it was to be OIC of being “that guy”. Having been being “port and starboard” of late, “…in addition to my other duties…” being the Top Gun of poking our Aereo Naughty Cull Designated Brethren, the relief of being ‘that guy” came at a most opportune time. All of these escort missions to the little big town has made me want to put my debit card on ice, man and I have lost my loving feeling for pumping gas. Every day this week and at least 2 more next week. Only plus side to that, is being able to lay in provisions for the upcoming Family Re-union Food Fest. They’ll even be enough for generous servings of mid-rats.

Rest in Pieces Gnrl, say hello to the other Nazi Scum in Hell for us.

gabn/rtr/hbtd 😜😍😎



The ninja family popped up on that Duty Roster…Gotta Spread The Wealth, Cuz We Lub Our Navy/Marine Corps Brothers and Sisters!

Except on that Special Day In December.

We can’t give an AAR on “That Movie, Part Two” since we never saw “That Movie, Part One”…(Mick and AW1Ed would be proud of us…😉)..We did, however, watched and enjoyed the parody “Hot Shots” and “Hot Shots 2″…

Why is it we thought of “Dark Helmet” when we saw Botashev’s picture? 😆

Looking forward reference your AAR on the Family Re-Union Food Fest!!

gabn/hbtd/rtr 😎


Can you even imagine a US General actually fighting on the front lines?

I can’t.


You/d probably get a cheek vibration off that hat.


That’s the AWACS antenna.


Was he wearing that fugly lid?
Was the lid the reason he kept crashing?
Inquiring minds…

Something comes to mind about old aviators, bold aviators, and old bold aviators….


Thats the all balls no forehead hat.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

I love the hat which could have come in handy when he was landing and the brakes failed, and all he would have had to do was push the canopy back and stick his head up and used the hat brim as a brake flap and hopefully wouldn’t cause a big flap among any onlookers.


Pretty sure he’s a fan of SpaceBalls 😜 
comment image


Russkies felt GOs needed big hats… more like all hat and no cattle.


Clearly he missed the CRT training. Otherwise he might still be alive.


Crash Avoidance Theory?


Crash Resistant Training

Hack Stone

And the reflective vest. The reflective vest would have absorbed the impact.

A Proud Infidel®™

He wasn’t wearing his PT Belt which would have made him invincible, just ask any 1SG or CSM!


All hat, no battle rattle


Well put.

David Wonder if this lad is responsible?


I’m wondering if this was actually CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain) rather than a hit by a Stinger.

Reason being that ol’ “Maverick” here had a pretty shitty record of behaving like an idiot in the aircraft.

Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he plowed into the ground on his own during a low level attack run.



ha ha ha


Almost Bernathian, wouldn’t you say?


Target fixation is no joke.

A Proud Infidel®™

Another one bites the dust!

Prior Service

Looks like he actually should’ve died with that ejection back in 2012 and it just now caught up to him. On a side note, seriously, with the hat. Can the Russians not see how stupid their headgear looks? My army blue service cap literally gets worn like twice a decade but at least I know how stupid it looks. Yet I’d wear it 24/7 if you told me the option was Russian.


Russkies felt it was impressive for generals or something. Must’ve sounded better after too much vodka.


The only visored cap more absurd looking than the Russian ones are those worn by NORK generals.


While the Russian cap looks an oversized screw, the North Korean cap looks like an oversized bolt and is twice as ugly. I have no idea if the Imperial Russian Army had any caps that were similar to what Russia uses today. However, I do believe that oversized cap was first used during the days of the Soviet Union.


It was an ’80s thing…
comment image?imwidth=480


You are right. Now that I think about it, the caps used by the Soviets during World War II were more contemporary looking (like the one that Stalin always wore, no oversized crown). So the 80s is when those fugly caps were first adopted?

Last edited 2 months ago by Cameron

Pretty much. Have no idea what possessed them to do that.