VLADIMIR Putin has purged his top general over a mass loss of troops in Ukraine as Russia’s casualties are not expected to be as high as 50,000.
Colonel-General Andrei Serdyukov, 60, was allegedly deposed over the devastating “mass casualties” among Putin’s elite paratroopers.
The speculation comes as a Russian source is said to have suggested that the country’s total losses in Ukraine are close to 50,000 – significantly higher than most other estimates.
Unconfirmed Ukrainian sources, quoted by Odessa military-civilian spokesman Serhiy Bratchuk, claimed Putin had deleted Serdyukov and replaced him with Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinsky, 53, also known as the “Butcher of Bucha”.
Serdyukov was sanctioned by Britain for his involvement in the mass killing of civilians in the city of Kyiv.
If his ax is correct, “it would indicate that Serdyukov is being blamed for the poor performance and high casualties among the Russians [airborne] Units, especially in early operations around Kyiv.
“Ongoing layoffs and potential internal purges of senior Russian officers are likely to further hurt poor Russian command and control capabilities and Russian officer confidence.”
There is no evidence from Moscow that Serdyukov was deposed.
The 60-year-old veteran is a “Hero of Russia” – the country’s highest honor – and is considered one of the country’s top military minds.
Izvestia said he led the operation to annex Crimea from Ukraine in the spring of 2014.
Russia has kept under wraps the number of changes Putin made among commanders during the war that began on February 24.
But multiple sources claim that Putin personally micromanages war decisions and wields the ax against commanders he sees as underperforming.
Telegram channel General SVR claimed that the total number of Russian forces in the Ukraine conflict is now 37,592.
Added to this were the alleged casualties of 9,457 fighters from private military companies supporting the Russian war effort, the channel said.
In addition, the Russian National Guard, which reports directly to Putin, has suffered 1,788 casualties, it said.
The broadcaster said these numbers were reported directly to Putin, but did not provide any evidence.
This claim could not be verified.
If correct, that would mean total military losses of 48,837.
It contrasts with other figures that suggest Putin lost more than 30,000 soldiers.
Putin unleashed his “legendary” elite troops in Ukraine in March, believing he would capture the capital within 48 hours.
But far from capitulating, Ukraine’s heroic defenders crushed the invading forces and forced an enraged Putin to resort to merciless bombing of civilians.
Taras Kuzio, an associate research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, says dozens of Russian paratroopers were killed in their doomed attempt to take Hostomel Airport.
“They (the paratroopers) are being sent in front of the main forces to secure a place where the main forces can be brought up,” he told The Sun Online.
“In that war they were flown to Hostomel Airport near Kyiv for this, but they were all killed.
“Two transport planes of paratroopers flying from Belarus to carry out the same tactics at another airport near Kyiv were shot out of the sky. 300 paratroopers were killed in the 2 transport plane.”
The quick shutdown of Putin’s paratroopers botched the first part of Putin’s invasion, Kuzio said.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5591008/vladimir-putin-purges-top-general-ukraine-war-disaster/ Vladimir Putin PURSES top general over Ukraine war disaster as Russia’s casualties now ‘could be as high as 50,000 troops’.