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May 28, 2022 5:50 am

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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

Russia loses two more commanders as Putin orders purge over Ukraine war disaster – World News


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from Mirror – World news.

An estimated total of 17 top Russian commanders have been killed in Ukraine, with a fuming Vladimir Putin overseeing a witch hunt of those leaking intelligence

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Two more of Vladimir Putin ‘s top commanders have been killed in Russia’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine – bringing the estimated total to 17 and leaving the Kremlin fuming.

Major Dmitry Toptun, a motorised battalion leader, reportedly died when his armoured vehicle was hit by an anti-tank missile in Izyum, near Kharkiv.

While paratrooper commander Major Alexey Osokin is also understood to have died in the fighting elsewhere.

There are said to be multiple reasons for why so many of the President’s senior commanders have been wiped out since the “special operation” started this time last month.

Ukrainian figures suggest up to 15,300 invading troopers have been killed – with Moscow still having failed to take the capital Kyiv.

Toptun and Osokin’s apparent deaths come after three Spetsnaz special forces commandos were “liquidated” during the battle for Mariupol.

Documents found in a captured Tigr tank implied Captain Konstantin Druzhkov, 33, Islam Abduragimov, 19 and Shamil Aselderov, age unknown, were all among those killed.

Leaked intelligence showed Putin had been hopeful of completing his invasion within 48 hours, after troops moved across the border in the early hours of February 24 – followed by a relentless campaign of air strikes.

The Kremlin’s inner circle is blaming such leaks to Britain and the US – subsequently passed to Ukraine – for their poor progress and has launched a purge to find those guilty of undercutting them.

Putin is said to be “incandescent” and believes such betrayal has, at least in part, allowed the movements of his top generals and elite forces to be so easily tracked.

The President – a former Soviet KGB intelligence officer prior to his rise to power – is also reported to be growing wary of defence minister Sergei Shoigu, who is in overall charge of the invasion.

Sources are also reported to have said Putin has been dismissive in private of long-time ally Alexander Bortnikov, FSB security service head.

Putin has also reportedly started snapping in meetings at Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian general staff – blaming him for heavy losses of military hardware.

The Russian leader’s fury has also been allegedly targeted at Igor Kostyukov, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed forces.

Before the invasion even began he humiliated SVR foreign intelligence chief Sergey Naryshkin during a public meeting.

There is some suggestion Putin will negotiate a deal which he’ll market to the Russian people as a “surrender”, before launching a “victory parade” in May.

One source told the Sun: “He is incandescent that US and UK intelligence appear to know the Russian army’s next moves all the time, starting with predicting the invasion before he was ready to acknowledge it.”

Russian security expert Andrei Soldatov said military counterintelligence is probing an FSB security service department.

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He told the New York Post: “So it looks like now Putin is getting angry, not only with bad intelligence and the bad performance in Ukraine but also about the sourcing of the US intelligence about the invasion, and why US intelligence was so good before the invasion, and why the Americans knew so many things about what was coming.”

Soldatov also said part of the problem is high-ranking military personnel are so scared to tell Putin the truth, due to fear of being jailed, intelligence on the scale of Ukraine’s likely resistance to Russian invaders was hidden from him.

However, he does not believe that the Russian President is in much danger of being assassinated by those in his inner circle.

Putin was a former intelligence officer himself and so is well aware of how to manoeuvre risks, and has two separate security services ensuring his personal safety, he said.