Vladimir Putin reportedly suspended, fired or arrested a number of his top military commanders in a devastating move that, if true, would mark one of the largest purges of Russian military command to take place since the nation invaded Ukraine nearly three-months ago.
In a frightening show of force illustrating just how furious Putin is over his forces’ failure to take Ukraine, the 69-year-old Russian leader suspended top commander General Valery Gerasimov on Wednesday after a series of military blunders General Gerasimov committed in their nation’s war against Ukraine.
That was the shocking claim made Oleksiy Arestovych – a Ukrainian military intelligence veteran and close advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – who revealed the suspension of Gerasimov while speaking to the anti-Putin lawyer and politician Mark Feygin Wednesday night.
“According to preliminary information, Gerasimov has been de-facto suspended,” Arestovych told Feygin during the discussion that was uploaded to YouTube. “They are deciding whether to give him time to fix things, or not.”
“The commander of the first tank army of the western military district Lieutenant General Sergei Kisel has also been arrested and fired after the first tank army was defeated near Kharkiv,” Arestovych added.
Making Arestovych’s recent report even more startling is the fact that, besides general Gerasimov and Lieutenant General Kisel, Putin has also allegedly fired or arrested a slew of other Russian commanders whose forces suffered heavy losses and dramatic defeats across the battlefields of Ukraine.
“After the failure in Ukraine – repressions and purges in the Russian army,” Kyiv's interior ministry also revealed Wednesday night, echoing Arestovych claims.
“The Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Igor Osipov, was removed from his post and arrested,” Ukrainian’s interior ministry further revealed, before claiming there are ongoing “investigative actions in relation to first deputy commander of the fleet, Vice Admiral Sergei Pinchuk.”
But the reports of Putin’s purge of top military officials did not end there, because the Ukrainian government continued to name nearly five more Russian commanders either fired or arrested for their highly-consequential failures in the war against Ukraine.
“Due to the large losses of personnel, weapons and military equipment, [Putin] fired: Commander of the 6th Army, Lieutenant General Vladislav Ershov; Commander of the tank army of the western military district, Lieutenant General Sergei Kisel; and one of the deputy commanders.”
Putin also reportedly fired Major General Arkady Marzoev, a commander in charge of the 22nd Army Corps of the Southern Military District – a unit of Russian troops nearly obliterated by resisting Ukrainian soldiers.
As Radar reported, Putin’s suspected purge of high-ranking military officials came just days after rumors started swirling suggesting the Russian leader has “no future” in Russia should his forces fail to successfully complete their invasion and taking of Ukraine.
"He's all about staying in power,” former U.S. Army General Jack Keane revealed earlier this month. “That's his motivation. He will do anything to stay in power.”
"The alternative, he knows full well, by a successor who doesn't agree with him, could mean the end of him – his demise,” General Keane continued. "He's fighting to stay in power and he's determined, I think, to still accomplish his goals even though his focus is in the south [of Ukraine].”