Russian Major General Ivan Popov claimed to have been relieved of his command after informing the army command of the situation at the front. Popov said in an audio message to his soldiers released by the Ukrainian army: “The Ukrainian army could not break through our lines in the front, but our supreme leader struck us from behind, treacherously beheading the army at the most inopportune moment.” Member of the Russian Parliament Andrei Gorolyov. The deputy is a former army chief.
Popov says he felt compelled to tell the army leadership the truth about the problems at the front out of respect for the ordinary soldiers. In particular, he deplores the lack of resources to disable Ukrainian artillery and the high casualty rate of Ukrainian artillery fire. He suspects that the “fair and harsh” way in which he criticized made him a danger in the eyes of his superiors, which is why they wanted to get rid of him.
Popov’s criticisms cannot be separated from the mutiny of Wagner’s mercenary army three weeks earlier. Chief Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin also sharply criticized the leadership of the Russian army. He claimed that the top generals had no respect for Russian lives and had no idea what was going on at the front. Popov’s remarks are a sign that this kind of criticism also lives on in the higher ranks of the Russian army.
Popov commanded the 58th Combined Arms Army, which is currently fighting in southern Ukraine. It is unclear when exactly he expressed his criticism, but he said his order was taken from him within a day.
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