Putin 'Purges Hero Paratrooper Commander' Amid Claim Casualties At 50k

Putin 'Purges Hero Paratrooper Commander' Amid Claim Casualties At 50k

Vladimir Putin allegedly purged the chief of his airborne forces amid heavy losses in the war with Ukraine.

Colonel-General Andrey Serdyukov, 60, has paid the price of devastating “mass casualties” among paratroopers, it was alleged.

The speculation comes as one Russian source suggested the country’s overall losses in Ukraine are close to 50,000 - significantly higher than most other estimates.

Unconfirmed Ukrainian sources cited by Odessa military-civilian spokesman Serhiy Bratchuk say that Putin has axed Serdyukov and replaced him with Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinsky, 53, current chief of staff of the Central Military District who was born in Donetsk region.

Serdyukov was sanctioned by Britain as having Ukrainian blood on his hands in the wake of the Bucha horrors.

If his axing is true this “would indicate that Serdyukov is being held responsible for the poor performance of, and high casualties, among Russian [airborne] units, particularly in early operations around Kyiv.

“Continued dismissals and possible internal purges of senior Russian officers will likely further degrade poor Russian command and control capabilities and the confidence of Russian officers.”

There has been no indication from Moscow that Serdyukov has been ousted.

He is a "Hero of Russia " - the country’s highest honour - and is seen as one of the country’s ablest military minds.

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Izvestia said he commanded the operation to annex Crimea from Ukraine in the spring of 2014.

Russia has announced very few of the myriad changes Putin has made among commanders during the war which started on 24 February.


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