Russia has sacked senior military commanders who were believed to have performed poorly in Ukraine during the early stages of the country’s invasion, Britain’s Defense Ministry has said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, initially with the intention of capturing the capital, Kyiv. The Russian army failed in its objectives, however, as the Ukrainians put up a strong defense, prompting Putin’s forces to turn their attention to the eastern Donbass region as well as Ukraine’s southern Black Sea port cities.
Though Russia has captured the southern port city of Mariupol, its army is making slow progress elsewhere in the Donbass. The war has killed thousands of people, many of them civilians, and displaced millions more.
In its daily update on the war in Ukraine on Thursday, Britain’s MoD tweeted on Thursday: “In recent weeks Russia has sacked senior commanders who are believed to have performed poorly in the early stages of its invasion of Ukraine.”
The ministry noted that Lieutenant General Sergey Kisel, who commanded the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, was suspended for failing to capture Kharkiv. Vice Admiral Igor Osipov, who commanded Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, was also likely suspended after the sinking of the cruiser Moskva in April, the ministry added.
Russian Chief of Staff Valeriy Gerasimov is likely to remain in office, but it’s unclear whether he will retain Putin’s trust, the update said.
“A culture of cover-up and scapegoating is likely rife in the Russian military and security system,” the update added.
“Many officials involved in the invasion of Ukraine are likely to become increasingly distracted in efforts to avoid personal blame for Russia’s operational setbacks.
“This is likely to further strain Russia’s centralized command and control model as officers increasingly seek to defer key decisions to their superiors. It will be difficult for Russia to regain the initiative under these conditions.”
A report published in The London Times said Tuesday that Putin is micromanaging the war “at the level of a lower-ranking colonel” and that this is responsible for many of Russia’s military failures in Ukraine, citing Western military sources.
Gerasimov was a notable absence from Russia’s huge May 9 “Victory Day” parade in Moscow to celebrate the Soviet Union’s 1945 victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
According to several media reports, Putin’s military chief was wounded and forced to evacuate from a war zone in Izyum in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region while visiting the front lines of the eastern Donbass region in late April. However, neither Russian nor US officials have confirmed these reports.
https://www.newsweek.com/russia-firing-senior-commanders-who-performed-poorly-ukraineu-k-1708140 Russia fires senior commanders who fared poorly in Ukraine: UK