Desperate Putin purges top general over Ukraine war disaster as Russia troop losses surge

Ukraine: Putin humiliated as written military orders recovered

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Colonel-General Andrey Serdyukov has reportedly been purged for the “mass casualties” among Vladimir Putin’s elite paratroopers. Unconfirmed reports from Ukraine – cited by Odessa military-civilian spokesman Serhiy Bratchuk – claim Russia’s President axed the 60-year-old and replaced him with 54-year-old Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinsky. Putin’s replacement is reportedly known as the “Butcher of Bucha”.

Serdyukov had already been slapped with crippling sanctions by Britain over his involvement in the mass killing on civilians in the Kyiv town.

Moscow has yet to confirm the news he has been ousted but sources have warned it indicates Serdyukov “is being held responsible for the poor performance of, and high casualties, among Russian [airborne] units, particularly in early operations around Kyiv”.

The veteran is a ‘Hero of Russia’ – the country’s highest honour – and is regarded as one of Russia’s greatest military minds.

Since the war in Ukraine began on February 24, Putin has continued to axe senior Russian officers as he looks for a rapid turnaround in his country’s failing war efforts.

The number of top personnel who have been ditched has been kept closely under wraps by Moscow.

But several insiders have claimed Putin is personally micromanaging war decisions and taking aggressive steps against his own commanders who he regards as underperforming during the war in Ukraine.

Telegram channel General SVR has reported the total death tool of Russian troops in the conflict to date to stand at 37,592.

In addition, 9,457 fighters working for private military companies to support the Russian war effort have reportedly died.

It has also been said the Russian national guard, which reports directly to Putin – has suffered 1,788 losses.

General SVR has claimed these figures have been directly to the Russian President – but has so far not provided any evidence of this.

But if correct, it means overall military losses have surged to 48,837.

The Russian losses in Ukraine have been so severe its forces are now struggling to make any serious gains, according to military experts.

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Justin Bronk, the editor of the RUSI Defence Systems online journal, warned if Russia had planned to topple the Ukrainian by taking control of Kyiv, it had suffered a “decisive failure”.

He said that since this time, Putin’s troops have focussed on “far more limited objectives”, primarily in the Donbas region.

Russia is making gains here but as Ukraine has inflicted “catastrophic losses on the Russian ground forces”, this could spell trouble in the war’s wider context.

Mr Bronk wrote in The Spectator: “Since the start of the invasion, Ukrainian forces have inflicted catastrophic losses on the Russian ground forces, with around 18,000 to 20,000 troops killed in action, around 60,000 total casualties and more than 4,350 vehicles confirmed destroyed or captured.”

“As a result of these losses, Russia has struggled to achieve large scale successes during the second phase of the war.

“Consequently, the Donbas campaign has seen a steady lowering of Russia’s war aims.”

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