Russian general purged as paratroop commander becomes eighth member of top brass to be fired

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Russian general purged as paratroop commander becomes eighth member of top brass to be fired

Yet another high-profile general was purged in Russia today as Vladimir Putin's defence minister continues to root out anyone viewed as having be

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Yet another high-profile general was purged in Russia today as Vladimir Putin‘s defence minister continues to root out anyone viewed as having betrayed the Kremlin.

Paratrooper commander Major-General Vladimir Seliverstov, 49, is the eighth member of the country’s top brass to be fired, suspended, detained or vanished in recent months.

Defence minister Sergei Shoigu is alleged to be conducting ‘combat operations’ against his own staff as key war generals are axed or sidelined.

Seliverstov is one of Russia’s youngest and most ruthless generals who headed the 106th Airborne Division operating in the meat-grinder around Bakhmut where Ukraine is now advancing.

Even the support of Putin’s former bodyguard Alexei Dyumin, governor of the Tula region and possible anointed son as Kremlin successor, failed to save the general, according to reports.

Paratrooper commander Major-General Vladimir Seliverstov, 49, (pictured right greeting Vladimir Putin in 2019) is the eighth member of the country's top brass to be fired, suspended, detained or vanished in recent months

Paratrooper commander Major-General Vladimir Seliverstov, 49, (pictured right greeting Vladimir Putin in 2019) is the eighth member of the country's top brass to be fired, suspended, detained or vanished in recent months

Paratrooper commander Major-General Vladimir Seliverstov, 49, (pictured right greeting Vladimir Putin in 2019) is the eighth member of the country’s top brass to be fired, suspended, detained or vanished in recent months

Seliverstov is one of Russia's youngest and most ruthless generals who headed the 106th Airborne Division operating in Bakhmut, where Ukraine is now advancing

Seliverstov is one of Russia's youngest and most ruthless generals who headed the 106th Airborne Division operating in Bakhmut, where Ukraine is now advancing

Seliverstov is one of Russia’s youngest and most ruthless generals who headed the 106th Airborne Division operating in Bakhmut, where Ukraine is now advancing

The reason why Seliverstov was removed  could be down to his 'uncompromising nature'

The reason why Seliverstov was removed  could be down to his 'uncompromising nature'

The reason why Seliverstov was removed  could be down to his ‘uncompromising nature’

Defence minister Sergei Shoigu (pictured left)  is alleged to be conducting 'combat operations' against his own staff as key war generals are axed or sidelined

Defence minister Sergei Shoigu (pictured left)  is alleged to be conducting 'combat operations' against his own staff as key war generals are axed or sidelined

Defence minister Sergei Shoigu (pictured left)  is alleged to be conducting ‘combat operations’ against his own staff as key war generals are axed or sidelined

The reason for his removal is unknown, but could be down to his ‘uncompromising nature’.

He is a commander ‘not used to being silent when defending issues regarding his [troops]’, said a Telegram channel linked to Wagner mercenary army.

His demise follows that of notorious Gen Sergei ‘Armageddon’ Surovikin, 56, who has been incommunicado for 20 days since the revolt led by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.

He is believed to be under interrogation, likely held in jail for siding with Prigozhin and awaiting Putin’s decision on his fate.

Yet the witch-hunt goes wider.

Major-General Ivan Popov – who led Russia’s 58th army – vanished last week soon after he was fired.

A leaked voice message to troops revealed he blamed Putin’s high command for ‘treacherously and vilely decapitating the army at the most difficult and tense moment’.

His wife said Popov, 48, had been ‘summoned’ to an unknown place and ‘abruptly disappeared’ after his blistering critique of Putin’s war strategy was leaked, according to Telegram channel VChK-OGPU.

Another victim was Major-General Nikolay Gostev – commander of Russia’s 4th Air Force Army – who was removed from his post at least temporarily amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

He is reported to be ‘resting’ – a euphemism also used about Surovikin, the second most senior military commander in Russia.

Gen Sergei 'Armageddon' Surovikin, 56, (left), pictured with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, has been incommunicado for 20 days since the revolt led by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin

Gen Sergei 'Armageddon' Surovikin, 56, (left), pictured with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, has been incommunicado for 20 days since the revolt led by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin

Gen Sergei ‘Armageddon’ Surovikin, 56, (left), pictured with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, has been incommunicado for 20 days since the revolt led by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin

Air force commander Col-Gen Andrey Yudin, 61, is reported to be suspended after being interrogated following the 24 June Wagner armed mutiny

Air force commander Col-Gen Andrey Yudin, 61, is reported to be suspended after being interrogated following the 24 June Wagner armed mutiny

Air force commander Col-Gen Andrey Yudin, 61, is reported to be suspended after being interrogated following the 24 June Wagner armed mutiny

Another victim was Major-General Nikolay Gostev - commander of Russia's 4th Air Force Army - who was removed from his post at least temporarily amid Ukraine's counteroffensive

Another victim was Major-General Nikolay Gostev - commander of Russia's 4th Air Force Army - who was removed from his post at least temporarily amid Ukraine's counteroffensive

Another victim was Major-General Nikolay Gostev – commander of Russia’s 4th Air Force Army – who was removed from his post at least temporarily amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive

The timing has raised eyebrows since Gostev, 60, is in charge of protecting the Black Sea coast, including annexed Crimea and Zaporizhzhia from Ukrainian missile attacks

The timing has raised eyebrows since Gostev, 60, is in charge of protecting the Black Sea coast, including annexed Crimea and Zaporizhzhia from Ukrainian missile attacks

The timing has raised eyebrows since Gostev, 60, is in charge of protecting the Black Sea coast, including annexed Crimea and Zaporizhzhia from Ukrainian missile attacks

The timing has raised eyebrows since Gostev, 60, is in charge of protecting the Black Sea coast, including annexed Crimea and Zaporizhzhia from Ukrainian missile attacks.

This week a British-supplied Storm Shadow missile killed a general known personally to Putin – Lieutenant-General Oleg Tsokov, 51, in Berdiansk, an area now under intense long range bombardment.

Air force commander Col-Gen Andrey Yudin, 61, is reported to be suspended after being interrogated following the 24 June Wagner armed mutiny.

The same applies to Lt-Gen Vladimir Alexseev, 62,deputy head of military intelligence.

Both Yudin and Alexseev were suspended from duty and their movements restricted.

The eighth missing general is deputy defence minister Colonel-General Yunus-bek Yevkurov, 59, who has not been seen since early July

The eighth missing general is deputy defence minister Colonel-General Yunus-bek Yevkurov, 59, who has not been seen since early July

The eighth missing general is deputy defence minister Colonel-General Yunus-bek Yevkurov, 59, who has not been seen since early July

Earlier, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, who is also known as the Butcher of Mariupol, was ousted in May and joined Wagner.

He was the first to pay with his job.

His current whereabouts are unknown.

Shoigu is also gunning for reservist Lt-Gen Andrey Gurulev – a prominent pro-war propagandist pundit – who was blamed for leaking Popov’s message, and thereby humiliating Shoigu and chief of the armed forces General Valery Gerasimov.

No action so far has been taken against him, but it may be only a matter of time.

‘Shoigu continues to conduct ‘combat operations’ inside the Ministry of Defence,’ reported channel VChK-OGPU.

The eighth missing general is his close colleague and deputy – Colonel-General Yunus-bek Yevkurov, 59.

He was seen talking to Prigozhin on the day of the armed mutiny in Rostov-on-Don.

The deputy defence minister has not been seen since early July.

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