Putin's purge of the army echoes the demands of the rebellious (and dead) Yevgeny Prigozhin

He blamed them for their failures on the battlefield in Ukraine, and directed his anger at Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov in particular, calling for their removal

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Photo: EPA
Photo: EPA
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

When one senior Russian official is arrested, it's unusual, but when four end up in handcuffs in less than a month, then it's not just a pattern - it's a purge.

The last in the line is Lieutenant General Vadim Shamarin, Deputy Chief of the General Staff and Head of the Main Directorate for Communications of the Armed Forces of Russia.

He was accused of accepting bribes on a large scale, for which he was sentenced to two months' detention.

Among the arrested military officials, also under accusations of corruption, are Deputy Minister of Defense Timur Ivanov and Lieutenant General Yuri Kuznetsov, head of the Personnel Administration of the Ministry of Defense.

Previously, there were changes at the top of the ministry - President Vladimir Putin he replaced the long-time Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu technocrat Andrei Belousov.

The move was interpreted as an attempt by the Kremlin to increase the effectiveness of the Russian military and to tackle corruption.

Shoigu was given the job of Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, while Valery Gerasimov remained Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Forces for the time being.

However, the arrests in the ministry and the general staff reflect badly on the military leadership during the war in Ukraine.

Actually, there is a lot of irony here.

Do you remember Yevgeny Prigozhin? A year ago, the leader of the mercenary group Wagner publicly criticized military officials, accusing them of incompetence and corruption.

He blamed them for the failures on the battlefield in Ukraine, and directed his anger at Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov in particular, demanding that they be replaced.

Their conflict got so out of control that there was a 24-hour Wagner rebellion.

Wagner's fighters occupied key military facilities in the south of Russia and began marching towards Moscow, precisely with the aim of overthrowing the military leadership.

It didn't work, and that was primarily because Putin sided with the military chiefs, which means that Prigozhin lost the battle for power to Shoigu and General Gerasimov.

Shortly thereafter, he lost his life in a plane crash.


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A year later, a military purge is underway - this time with Kremlin support - and that tells us something about Vladimir Putin.

First of all, the Russian president is not inclined to act under pressure.

Order him to remove a minister or a general and he is unlikely to agree.

Because no one can order him.

But that doesn't mean that Putin won't do anything... Then when it suits him and when he wants it.

One thing is just not clear, and that is how far the purge in the Russian army will go, that is, how many more officials will end up behind bars.

The former commander of the 58th Army, Major General Ivan Popov, was arrested this week on suspicion of large-scale fraud.

Last year, he stated that he was dismissed because he complained to the commanders about the problems on the front in Ukraine.


Information from behind the Iron Curtain: How Russians see the world


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