Putin fires deputy defence chief amid supply failures

The general in charge of leading the Russian military’s shaky logistics operations in Ukraine has been sacked by Vladimir Putin.

On Saturday, the defense ministry announced on Telegram that Gen. Dmitry Bulgakov, a deputy defense minister, had been fired.

The 67-year-old was “released,” according to the ministry, to transition into a new position.

Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, who oversaw Moscow’s harsh siege of the port city of Mariupol, will take his position.

Gen. Bulgakov, who has been in charge of the military’s logistics operations since 2008, was in charge of supplying Russian forces after their 2015 deployment to Syria.

However, commentators claim that he has lost influence in Moscow in recent months, and many hold him responsible for the disorganized logistics systems that have hampered Russia’s advance and left their troops with insufficient supplies.

The Kremlin has recently been obliged to contact Iran and North Korea, two of its last two friends, for new drone and artillery supply.

Gen. Bulgakov was fired as images of freshly drafted Russian troops carrying rusted assault guns appeared on social media.

Hardliners in Russia will probably applaud the selection of Gen. Mizintsev, who was sanctioned by the UK for his part in managing the Mariupol siege. Pro-war figures in Russia have applauded his expulsion.

Gen. Mizintsev, who many Ukrainians dubbed “the Butcher of Mariupol,” also commanded Russian forces in Syria and was charged with planning a merciless bombing campaign that destroyed Aleppo.

When issuing sanctions against the 60-year-old in March, the UK foreign office claimed that he had engaged in “reprehensible tactics” and “atrocities” in both the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts.

The Russian president has reportedly assumed personal control of the war effort and begun giving orders directly to Ukrainian generals, which coincides with Mr. Putin’s personnel moves.

According to US officials speaking to CNN, Mr. Putin was compelled to become more involved in the conflict due to Moscow’s “dysfunctional command structure” in recent months.

Last month, senior defense officials started making fun of the top general’s “ineffectual and out-of-touch leadership,” leading UK defense insiders to speculate that Mr. Putin had removed Sergei Shoigu as his defense minister.

While everything is going on, the New York Times reported that Mr. Putin had refused his commanders’ requests to leave the southern city of Kherson, where Ukrainian forces are steadily making progress.

The newspaper cited US intelligence sources when stating that his refusal to take a pullback into consideration had resulted in a decline in morale among Russian troops stationed in the city, who are largely cut off from their supply lines and depend on a number of pontoon bridges to receive new equipment.

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