It is “highly likely” Vladimir Putin has axed one of his top generals following Russia’s stalled invasion of Ukraine, British defence chiefs said on Thursday.
In its daily intelligence updates, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said Colonel-General Rustam Muradov had probably been dismissed as commander of Russia’s Eastern Group of Forces.
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The assessment comes as the Kremlin’s forces continue to suffer heavy losses as Ukraine’s military continues to put up fierce resistance backed by western weapon supplies.
The MOD update said: “The EGF under Muradov has suffered exceptionally heavy casualties in recent months as its poorly conceived assaults repeatedly failed to capture the Donetsk Oblast town of Vuhledar.
“The operations attracted intense public criticism from across the spectrum of Russian commentators – including Muradov’s own troops.
“Muradov took over the EGF after its disastrous attempt to assault Kyiv from the north-west during the initial full-scale invasion.
“He is the most senior Russian military dismissal of 2023 so far, but more are likely as Russia continues to fail to achieve its objectives in the Donbas.”
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