Kremlin demonstratively fires and arrests its commanders for defeats in Ukraine, says Ukrainian intelligence
17 May, 2022

Kremlin demonstratively removes from the offices and arrests top commanders of Russian defense forces to reduce own responsibility for failures in the war in Ukraine, says Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.

Commander in chief of the Black Sea Fleet, Vice Admiral Igor Osipov, was removed from office and arrested for the loss of the Russian cruiser Moskva, which sank on 14 April 2022 after Ukrainian forces damaged the cruiser with Neptune anti-ship missiles. Investigative actions have also been launched against his first deputy, Vice Admiral Serhiy Pinchuk.

Commander of the 6th General Army Lieutenant General Vladislav Yershov was removed from office for the loss of troops and equipment. Lieutenant General Sergei Kisel, commander of 1st Guards Tank Army, was fired and accused of sending conscripts to Ukraine allegedly 'contrary to the order of the higher command.'

Commander of the 22nd Army Corps of the Southern Military District in Crimea, Major General Arkady Marzoev, and the commander of the 103rd separate brigade of logistics, Colonel Mikhail Ponomarev, were also removed from their posts.

"All these demonstrative punishments only contribute to the spread of distrust among the occupiers towards their commanders. The military leaders of the aggressor country continue to impress the world with their incompetence and desire for self-destruction," says Ukrainian intelligence.

Troubles in the Russian army

Ukrainian special services and the military regularly talk about the problems in the Russian army, referring to the poor psychological condition of Russian soldiers and commanders. Back in early March, the Security Service of Ukraine reported that 600 Russian marines had revolted near Odesa and refused to leave to ship, which led to the failure of the assault on the city.

In April, the Ukrainian special service published the interception of a conversation in which Russian service members complained that their command had left them no provisions and no ways to retreat. Some soldiers even plan to report to the military prosecutor's office after returning home.

The Security Service of Ukraine believes that riots in the Russian army are becoming more frequent, so the command arranges demonstrative punishments to restrain dissenting soldiers.