Date: 18 July 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński

Shoigu, Gerasimov Continue Firing Senior Commanders

After a failed Wagner mutiny, top Russian military officials Sergei Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov carried out a radical change in Russia’s military leadership. That has not impacted Moscow’s war in Ukraine. It is known what eventually prevails––consolidated efforts of Russian commanders or the sacking of generals at the expense of people blindly obeying the orders of Gen. Valery Gerasimov, who since January has been in charge of what Russia names its “special operation” in Ukraine.


A number of other news outlets claim “General Armageddon,” Sergey Surovikin, is missing. Other officials dismissed in an alleged crackdown are Surovkin’s deputy Andrei Yudin, deputy head of military intelligence Vladimir Alexeyev, and Mikhail Mizintsev, the former deputy defense minister, dubbed the “Butcher of Mariupol.” Surovikin has not been seen in public for three weeks now. Some sources claim he had been arrested. The others have not been relieved from their duties. However, dozen of senior Russian officers have been dismissed or detained. Given who they are and their ties to Wagner, it seems unlikely they all have been sacked amid alleged links to Prigozhin. In fact, Gerasimov sacked people whom he considered disobedient in an alleged witch-hunt after an aborted Wagner mutiny. Moscow’s forces struggle with ineffective command structures and a lack of trust or transparency through the ranks. Notably, Major General Ivan Popov, commander of the 58th Combined Arms Amy in Russia’s Southern Military District, said he was stripped of his position after raising complaints with the Kremlin from the Ukrainian front lines in the southern Zaporizhzhia region. He said he had been dismissed from his position after criticizing lack of artillery support as well as a high death toll among Russian soldiers. Dozen of senior airborne commanders have been sacked. As part of an ongoing purge of insubordinate commanders by the Russian military command, Major General Vladimir Seliverstov, a Russian paratrooper commander, was removed from his post as head of the 106th Guards Airborne Division. Media reports also suggested that Major-General Alexander Kornev was removed from command of the 7th Airborne Assault Division. The Russian military command is also planning to dismiss the 31st VDV Brigade Commander, who is reportedly Colonel Sergei Karasev. Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinskiy is also believed to have been dismissed. Teplinskiy in the past criticized Gerasimov for inadequate airborne deployment in Ukraine.

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