Vladimir Putin’s top military commander was wounded in Ukraine and sent back to Russia to take over the war just days after his arrival.
Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov had been sent by Putin to personally take control of his push to seize territory in Donbass and eastern Ukraine.
The unconfirmed claim is that Gerasimov, 66, was wounded in Izyum in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, which is at the center of intense fighting and where Russia’s ninth Major General Andrei Simonov, 55, was killed, according to reports today.
An unofficial Russian source reported that Gerasimov “suffered a shrapnel wound in the upper third of his right leg without fracture.
“The shard has been removed – there is no danger to life.”
Ukrainian government official Anton Gerashchenko said the attack on Izyum was “exactly where … Gerasimov, who came personally to direct the attack on Slavyansk, was located.”
A “large number” of senior officers were killed, he said.
Pro-Ukr Telegram channel Vertical said Gerasimov “was wounded near Izyum.”
“Our source reports that his legs and hips are damaged.”
It indicated that three of his followers had been killed and the chief of staff evacuated.
Media agency Agentstvo reported that he was initially flown from the war zone to Belgorod in western Russia on a Mi-8 military helicopter.
Separately, a military compound in the Belgorod region was seen on fire in videos caused by a suspected Ukrainian attack.
Three Ka-52 attack helicopters circled as the Mi-8 transported him and other top personnel.
Then in Belgorod he boarded a Tu-154 aircraft of the Ministry of Defense, which flew to an unknown destination.
Founder of the independent Conflict Intelligence Team Ruslan Leviev said an eyewitness at the airport saw Gerasimov boarding the plane without assistance.
“The source confirms that it was Gerasimov who flew away,” he wrote.
“But he boarded the ship himself, safe and sound.”
If true, his wound, even if minor at the hands of the Ukrainians, is another major psychological blow to Putin and his stalled war campaign.
Gerasimov is in charge of the Russian war effort together with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5241194/putins-top-military-commander-wounded-ukraine/ Putin’s top military commander was wounded in Ukraine and rushes back to Russia to take over the war just days after being posted