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Another Russian General Fired: Airborne Commander Ousted in Wake of Prigozhin Mutiny

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Another Russian general has been fired in the latest shake-up in the military since Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin launched a short-lived mutiny three weeks ago.

Major General Vladimir Selivyorstov, who commanded the 106th Airborne Division, has been dismissed by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Telegram channels close to Russia’s security services reported on July 15.

The Telegram channels did not give an official reason for his firing, although one claimed Selivyorstov had been known to disagree with decisions made by headquarters.

READ MORE about a Russian general who was fired after saying commanders betrayed his troops

Selivyorstov’s dismissal comes amid upheaval in the Russian armed forces following Prigozhin’s June 23-24 mutiny against Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov over their management of the war in Ukraine.

The weak military response to the mutiny — which represented the biggest threat to President Vladimir Putin’s 23-year grip on power — has raised questions about the loyalty of senior officials in the armed forces to the Kremlin for its failed invasion of Ukraine.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that at least 13 high-ranking Russian military officials were detained following Prigozhin’s mutiny.

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One prominent official, General Sergei Surovikin, who briefly served as overall commander for the Ukraine war and is believed to be a close ally of Prigozhin, has not been seen or heard from since the mutiny erupted on June 24.

Major General Ivan Popov, the commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army deployed in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhya region, said on July 12 that he was fired after complaining to Gerasimov about the failure to rotate troops.

Popov also said his forces were being hampered by problems with counterbattery radar and artillery reconnaissance.

As for Selivyorstov, Telegram channel CHEKA-OGPU said Tula Governor Aleksei Dyumin sought to defend him during a trip to Moscow on July 14. The 106 Airborne Division is based in Tula.

Putin’s former chief security guard, Dyumin is often cited as a possible replacement to Shoigu should the president decide to dismiss him. Dyumin briefly served as deputy defense minister under Shoigu in 2015-2016.

However, experts say Putin is likely to stick with loyalists Shoigu and Gerasimov at least for the foreseeable future lest it appear he caved under pressure from Prigozhin.

The weak military response to the mutiny — which represented the biggest threat to President Vladimir Putin’s 23-year grip on power — has raised questions about the loyalty of senior officials in the armed forces to the Kremlin for its failed invasion of Ukraine.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that at least 13 high-ranking Russian military officials were detained following Prigozhin’s mutiny.

One prominent official, General Sergei Surovikin, who briefly served as overall commander for the Ukraine war and is believed to be a close ally of Prigozhin, has not been seen or heard from since the mutiny erupted on June 24.

Major General Ivan Popov, the commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army deployed in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhya region, said on July 12 that he was fired after complaining to Gerasimov about the failure to rotate troops.

Popov also said his forces were being hampered by problems with counterbattery radar and artillery reconnaissance.

As for Selivyorstov, Telegram channel CHEKA-OGPU said Tula Governor Aleksei Dyumin sought to defend him during a trip to Moscow on July 14. The 106 Airborne Division is based in Tula.

Putin’s former chief security guard, Dyumin is often cited as a possible replacement to Shoigu should the president decide to dismiss him. Dyumin briefly served as deputy defense minister under Shoigu in 2015-2016.

Experts say Putin is likely to stick with loyalists Shoigu and Gerasimov at least for the foreseeable future lest it appear he caved under pressure from Prigozhin.

Reported by RFE/RL Russian Service.

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