Putin has called an obese general out of retirement to take command of forces in Ukraine after yet another round of purges of top commanders has left him ‘scraping the barrel’.
The 20 stone General Pavel, 67, has been summoned from his comfortable retirement in the Moscow suburbs and told to don his specially-made army fatigues and go to the front lines of eastern Ukraine.
He will now take charge of Russian special forces operating in the region after the unit’s former commander was seriously injured in an artillery strike.
A veteran of the Soviet Union’s ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, he was a 40 year veteran of Russia’s special forces, but has let himself go considerably since retirement five years ago.
He is understood to eat five meals a day and polish it all off with a litre of vodka. Since coming back to the service, he has had to have his uniform specially made and he needs to wear two sets of body armour to ensure his torso is protected.
A senior intelligence source last night told the Daily Star Sunday: ‘Putin is now scraping the barrel.
General Pavel, 67 and 20 stone, has been called out of retirement by Vladimir Putin after yet another round of purges of top commanders has left him ‘scraping the barrel’
Putin, pictured here during his meeting with Belarus President Aleksander Lukashenko yesterday, has been firing commanders at an unprecedented rate and has been reduced to bringing unfit generals out of retirement to replace them
‘Most of his best and battle-hardened senior commanders have been killed or injured fighting in Ukraine so he is resorting to sending second rate officers to the front who don’t last very long.
‘Putin is like a mafia boss who no one can refuse to obey. If a retired general gets a message from Putin saying mother Russia needs you to fight in Ukraine there is not much you can do. There is now escape from Russia thanks to the sanctions.’
Despite capturing the key city of Severodonetsk yesterday, there have been reports that Putin has now sacked his number one general in Ukraine, ostensibly over the glacial pace of advance of the Russian army’s primary thrust to annex the Donbas.
The dismissal of Gen Alexander Dvornikov, rumoured to be a drunk and distrusted by his officers, would mark yet another major shake up of Putin’s command structure, and an expression of the dictator’s frustration with the state of his war in Ukraine, which he had supposed would be successfully over within four days.
Dvornikov, known as the ‘Butcher of Aleppo’ for his 2015 aerial destruction of Syria’s largest city which reduced it to a bombed out husk, would be the the seventh general Putin is reported to have sacked since the start of June, as well as losing as many as fourteen killed in action.
Gen Alexander Dvornikov, known as the ‘Butcher of Aleppo’ for his 2015 aerial destruction of Syria’s largest city which reduced it to a bombed out husk, has reportedly been removed by Putin from overall command of Russian forces in Ukraine
Dvornikov will reportedly be replaced by Colonel-General Sergei Surovikin (pictured left, receiving a medal from Putin) as commander of the SGF, as the army group encompasses the primary forces of the Russian army seeking to capture and occupy Ukrainian territory
Russian high command is thought to have removed a number of high-ranking officers from key command roles in Ukraine since the start of June, according to the British Ministry of Defence.
With Dvornikov the commander of Southern Group of Forces and likely acting as the overall operational commander for the Russian army in Ukraine, his removal is reported to have come along with that of Airborne Forces (VDV) General-Colonel Andrei Serdyukov.
Dvornikov will reportedly be replaced by Colonel-General Sergei Surovikin as commander of the SGF. The army group encompasses the primary forces of the Russian army seeking to capture and occupy Ukrainian territory.
‘For over 30 years, Surovikin’s career has been dogged with allegations of corruption and brutality,’ the MoD adds.
Several sources claim that Putin is personally micromanaging war decisions and wielding the axe on commanders he sees as under performing.
The sacking of airborne chief Serdyukov would indicate he was held responsible for the poor performance – and high casualties – of Russian airborne units, particularly in early operations around Kyiv.
Colonel-General Andrey Serdyukov, 60, has paid the price of devastating ‘mass casualties’ among paratroopers, it has been reported
He has reportedly been replaced by Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinsky, 53, current chief of staff of the Central Military District, who was born in the Donetsk region
The reported sacking would indicate that Serdyukov is being held responsible for the poor performance of, and high casualties, among Russian [airborne] units, particularly in early operations around Kyiv
Serdyukov has apparently been blamed for failures in the operation to capture the airport as Hostomel near Kyiv on February 24 – the first day of the war – in which elite troops from the Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) were decimated in repeated failed assaults.
These soldiers, some of Putin’s most highly trained, were systematically destroyed by Ukrainian defenders, who operated with greater numbers and far more competence than the Russians had anticipated.
Overall as many as fourteen Russian generals are thought to have been killed during the invasion of Ukraine, although the number is contested. Russia does not release information on the high-ranking officers it loses.
Among the Russian generals confirmed dead are Major General Anton Simonov, 55, who was killed during an attack on a Russian command post near Kharkiv and Lt General Andrey Mordvichev who was killed in Kherson on March 19.
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev (left), commander of Russia’s 49th combined army, was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25, whilst Major General Anton Simonov, 55, (right) died during the attack on a Russian army command post in Kharkiv
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, 47, (left) deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District, was killed by a sniper whilst General Magomed Tushaev (right) was blown up in the early stages of the war by Ukraine after they joined the Russian invasion
Major-General Oleg Mityaev, 47, commander of the army’s 150th motorised rifle division, died fighting in the besieged city of Mariupol while Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, 45, was killed on March 7 outside the eastern city of Kharkiv.
Meanwhile Major-General Andrey Kolesnikov, Commander of the Guards Tank Kantemirovskaya Division, was also killed in fighting on March 11 and Major-General Andrei Sukhovetsky, 47, was killed during a special operation by a sniper on March 3.
In addition, General Magomed Tushaev, a Chechen special forces leader, was killed in an ambush near Hostomel, Lt General Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army, was killed in a strike near Kherson and Major General Vladimir Frolov died in battle.
RUSSIA’S FALLEN GENERALS
General Magomed Tushaev: Chechen special forces leader who had led ‘anti-gay purges’ killed in an ambush near Hostomel on February 26;
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky: Deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District killed during a special operation by a sniper on March 4;
General Magomed Tushaev (right) was blown up in the early stages of the war by Ukraine after they joined the Russian invasion
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov: First deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army who took part in operations in Syria and Crimea, killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8;
Major General Andrei Kolesnikov: Commander of the 29th Combined Army Army killed on March 11;
Major General Oleg Mityaev, died fighting near the city of Mariupol on 16 March;
Lt Gen Andrey Mordvichev, killed in the Kherson region on March 19 ;
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army, was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25;
Major General Vladimir Frolov was deputy commander of the 8th Guards Army in east Ukraine;
Major General Vitaly Gerasimov (left) was first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, taking part in operations in Syria and Crimea. He was killed in fighting around Kharkiv on March 8
Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev, commander of Russia’s 49th combined army. He was killed in a strike near the southern city of Kherson on March 25
Major General Anton Simonov, 55, was seen as the Russian military’s leading electronic warfare specialist. He died during an attack on a Russian army command past in northern Ukraine in early May;
Major General Kanamat Botashev, was enjoying retirement when Russian tanks rolled across the border on February 24 and had not flown since 2012. His Su-25 fighter jet was hit by a Stinger missile on May 22 in the Donbas skies, and he was unable to eject;
Major-General Roman Kutuzov was the chief of staff of the 29th Combined Arms Army. His death was confirmed on June 5, and is believed to have been slain in an ambush carried out by Ukrainian forces.
The grave of Major General Vladimir Frolov in Serafimovskoe Cemetery, St Petersburg. The circumstances of his death remain unclear
Major General Andrey Simonov (picture date unknown) was an electronic warfare commander
Russia confirmed the death of Major-General Roman Kutuzov (pictured) this month
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10954233/Beast-East-Panicking-Putin-calls-OBESE-20st-retired-general-lead-forces-Ukraine.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Beast in the East! Panicking Putin ‘calls up OBESE 20st retired general to lead forces in Ukraine’