According to Ukrainian government sources, Putin purged his army chief and fired a number of senior commanders for the failures of the ongoing invasion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly purging his own commanders over their ongoing failures in Ukraine.
A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian commander-in-chief General Valery Gerasimov had been suspended and a number of other officers had been sacked.
It comes amid rumors of a purge of Russian top brass as the country’s invasion of Ukraine continues well into its third month.
Oleksiy Arestovych, a military intelligence veteran and close to President Zelensky, said Wednesday that Gerasimov, the Russian army chief of staff, had been suspended.
It came as Putin was allegedly seeking senior commanders to point fingers at his struggling invasion.
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Speaking to dissident Russian lawyer and politician Mark Feygin, on YouTube, Arestovitch said Gerasimov had been suspended and Putin was deciding whether or not to give the 66-year-old general time to right his wrongs.
It comes after Gerasimov was not seen at Russia’s Victory Day parade.
Arestovich added: “The commander of the First Tank Army of the Western Military District, Lieutenant General Sergei Kisel, was also arrested and fired after the defeat of the First Tank Army near Kharkiv.
Arestovych admitted the information was “preliminary”, but it comes after reports of Putin’s growing anger against members of Russia’s military establishment.
According to reports on a Telegram channel run by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, two more commanders were fired due to battlefield failures.
They also claimed that the commander of the Black Sea Fleet was sacked and arrested along with his vice-admiral under investigation.
The Find Your Own Telegram feed run by Kyiv’s Interior Ministry said: “After the failure in Ukraine – crackdowns and purges in the Russian military.
TASS via Getty Images)
“The Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Igor Osipov, has been removed from his post and arrested. [There are] Investigative actions regarding… the first deputy commander of the fleet, Vice Admiral Sergei Pinchuk.
“Due to the significant losses of personnel, weapons and military equipment, [Russia] sacked: Commander of the 6th Army, Lieutenant General Vladislav Ershov; commander of the tank army of the Western Military District, Lieutenant General Sergei Kisel and one of the deputy commanders.
“[Also] Commander of the 22nd Army Corps of the Southern Military District Major General Arkady Marzoev.
Despite its size and resources, the Russian army has been repeatedly humiliated by Ukraine on the battlefield and suffered heavy losses so far in the war.
Early reports suggested Moscow was aiming for an end to the invasion within weeks, but now finds itself entrenched as the fighting reaches its 77th day with no signs of stopping.
Just yesterday, it emerged that Russian troops had been decimated as they attempted to cross a river into the Donbass, where the fighting is now concentrated.
An artillery strike destroyed at least 58 vehicles as they tried to sneak past.