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Russian general dismissed over criticism of military leadership

Jul 13, 2023

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In a voice message published by Russian lawmaker Andrei Gurulyov, Maj. Gen. Ivan Popov said he has been dismissed as commander. Popov had commanded the 58th Combined Arms Army in southern Ukraine. According to Popov, the dismissal came after telling military leadership about the dire situation on the front lines in Ukraine.

“I have also raised some other issues and addressed it at the highest level in a frank and harsh way. It looks like because of that, the top officers apparently saw me as a source of threat and rapidly issued an order to get rid of me, which was signed by the defense minister in just one day,” Popov said in the audio message. “I am waiting for my further military fate, its changes, waiting to get some kind of proposal for further service.”

According to the dismissed general, he said Russian soldiers had been stabbed in the back by the failings of the top military brass. Popov added the army lacked proper counter artillery systems and reconnaissance of enemy artillery.

“A difficult situation arose with the senior leadership, when it was necessary either to remain silent and fainthearted and to say what they wanted to hear, or call things by their names,” Popov said. “I had no right to lie, therefore, I outlined all the problematic issues that exist today in the army in terms of combat work and support. I called everything by its proper name.”

Popov’s discipline and subsequent dismissal may have revealed growing descension in the Russian ranks as the country continues to fight the biggest land war in Europe since World War II. It comes less than a month after the Wagner Group staged a brief but significant rebellion, the full effects of which are still unclear.

“Putin still wrongly believes that he can outlast Ukraine. He can’t believe it’s their land, their country and their future. And even after all this time, Putin still doubts our staying power,” President Joe Biden said Wednesday, July 12, in his closing remarks at this week’s NATO summit. “He’s still making a bad bet that the conviction and the unity among the United States and our allies and partners will break down.”

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MORE SIGNS OF DISSENSION WITHIN THE RUSSIAN RANKS — AS THE COUNTRY PUSHES FORWARD WITH ITS INVASION OF UKRAINE.
A RUSSIAN GENERAL SAID HE WAS DISMISSED AFTER TELLING MILITARY LEADERSHIP ABOUT THE DIRE SITUATION ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE WAR.
MAJOR GENERAL IVAN POPOV SAID RUSSIAN SOLDIERS HAD BEEN STABBED IN THE BACK BY THE FAILINGS OF MILITARY LEADERSHIP.
HE ALSO SAID THE RUSSIAN ARMY LACKED PROPER RECON OF ENEMY ARTILLERY AND COUNTER ARTILLERY SYSTEMS.
POPOV’S CRITICISM AND SUBSEQUENT DISMISSAL COMES LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AFTER THE WAGNER GROUP STAGED A BRIEF BUT SIGNIFICANT REVOLT AGAINST RUSSIA — FURTHER DEMONSTRATING DISCONTENT WITHIN RUSSIAN FIGHTERS AS THE COUNTRY CONTINUES THE BIGGEST LAND WAR IN EUROPE SINCE WORLD WAR 2.
“Putin still wrongly believes that he can outlast Ukraine. He can’t believe it’s their land, their country and their future. And even after all this time, Putin still doubts our staying power. He’s still making a bad bet that the conviction and the unity among the United States and our allies and partners will break down.”

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