Putin reportedly sacked Russian General Valery Gerasimov

According to an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, there is speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin has sacked his commander-in-chief as part of the latest sacking rumor amid his invasion of Ukraine.

Oleksiy Arestovych, a presidential adviser, said in an interview with Russian dissident lawyer Mark Feygin on Wednesday that “preliminary information” indicated that Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s chief of staff, had been sacked.

The reported sacking could not be independently verified and the Kremlin gave no indication of a top echelon ousting.

However, Gerasimov – who was seen briefing Russian President Vladimir Putin alongside Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu across a long table in the run-up to the war – was notably absent from the this week’s Victory Day parade in Moscow.

Gerasimov is widely regarded as one of the architects of the Kremlin’s Ukrainian strategy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin flanked by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov.
Kremlin Press Office/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Colonel General Valery Gerasimov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with Colonel General Valery Gerasimov
Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-NOVOSTI/AFP via Getty Images
Valery Gerasimov.
Colonel General Valery Gerasimov is widely regarded as one of the architects of the Kremlin’s Ukrainian strategy.
Murat Kula/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The rumors come after reports over the past month that other leaders of the failed invasion have also been sidelined, including Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Igor Osipov.

Several Russian army commanders were also reportedly removed from their posts, including Lieutenant General Vladislav Ershov, Lieutenant General Sergei Kisel and Major General Arkady Marzoev.

Meanwhile, while Arestovych said Putin may be cleaning up, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Major General Kyrylo Budanov said the opposite may be true.

A destroyed Russian military tank on April 21, 2022 in Dmytrivka, Ukraine.
A destroyed Russian military tank in Dmytrivka, Ukraine.
Alexei Furman/Getty Images
The damaged Moskva cruiser shortly after being hit by Ukrainian missiles.
The damaged Moskva cruiser shortly after being hit by Ukrainian missiles.
Twitter News/east2west
A Ukrainian soldier walks among destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv.
A Ukrainian soldier walks among destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv.
Felipe Dana/AP

In an interview with Sky News on Friday, Budanov suggested an insider coup against Putin was already underway.

The Ukrainian general said he expected the war to be over by the end of the year.

“The breaking point will be in the second half of August. Most of the active combat actions will be completed by the end of this year,” he predicted.

Lieutenant General Sergei Kisel.
Lieutenant General Sergei Kisel has reportedly been removed from his post by the Kremlin.
Vladislav Erchov.
Lieutenant General Vladislav Ershov may have been fired.
Major General Arkady Marzoev.
Major General Arkady Marzoev was reportedly sacked during the mass cleanup.

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