It has been claimed that Colonel-General Andrei Serdyukov, 60, paid the price for devastating “mass casualties” among paratroopers after speculation that Russia’s total casualties in Ukraine are nearly 50,000 — significantly higher than most other estimates
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Vladimir Putin is said to have purged the chief of his airborne troops amid heavy casualties in the war with Ukraine.
Colonel-General Andrei Serdyukov, 60, has paid the price for devastating “mass casualties” among the paratroopers, sources said.
The speculation comes as a Russian source said 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, say Putin axed Serdyukov and replaced him with Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinsky, 53, the current Chief of Staff of the Central Military District, who was born in the Donetsk region.
Serdyukov was sanctioned by Britain for having Ukrainian blood on his hands after the Bucha horrors.
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.
He is a “Hero of Russia” – the country’s highest honor – and is considered one of the most capable military minds in the country.
SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
Izvestia said he ordered the operation to annex Crimea from Ukraine in the spring of 2014.
Russia has announced very few of the myriad changes Putin has 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 provided no 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.