Putin ‘Loses Two of His Most Senior Commanders In One Day’

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Putin 'Loses Two of His Most Senior Commanders In One Day'

Russian President Vladimir
Putin has lost faith in his top general and has fired other senior commanders
for their high-profile and embarrassing failures on the battlefield
in Ukraine, British intelligence believes.

K. military intelligence
reports Tuesday morning that the Kremlin has fired Lt. Gen. Serhiy Kisel,
commander of the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, for failing to capture
Kharkiv. International attention has focused on the strategically critical
northeastern Ukrainian city in recent days following news that Ukrainian forces
capitalized on Russia’s retreat and had pushed the invading troops back to
their border. The commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Vice Admiral Igor Osipov,
has also come under suspension likely for allowing the flagship cruiser Moskva
to sink in April from an apparent missile attack – for which the Ukrainian
military claims credit.

Perhaps most notably, Valeriy
Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff – a position roughly
analogous to the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs – remains in his post but,
British intelligence believes, “it is unclear whether he retains the confidence
of President Putin.”

The damning assessment follows
reports that at least a dozen Russian generals have died on the battlefield – a
seemingly stunning fact that the Pentagon has downplayed as
indicative of how the Kremlin goes to war combined with the dysfunctional state
of a Soviet-era army.

And it comes amid a growing
belief that Putin himself is now directing the tactical decisions of his
military as Russian forces continue to fail to meet their objectives,
chiefly seizing control of the Ukrainian government, while facing growing
pressure at home.

“A culture of cover-ups and scape-goating
is probably prevalent within the Russian military and security system,”
according to the assessment. “Many officials involved in the invasion of
Ukraine will likely be increasingly distracted by efforts to avoid personal
culpability for Russia’s operational setbacks.

The assessment suggested that
the developments will likely place a further strain on Russia’s centralized model
of command and control, as officers increasingly seek to defer key decisions to
their superiors.

“It will be difficult for
Russia to regain the initiative under these conditions,” it said.

 

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