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Dismissal of Kremlin's military commanders may impact Russian soldiers - UK intelligence

Dismissal of Kremlin's military commanders may impact Russian soldiers - UK intelligence Russian general Ivan Popov (wikipedia org)

The Kremlin's removal of authoritative Russian commanders may frighten Russian soldiers, while the command will consider obedience to the regime more important than competence, reports the British Ministry of Defense.

The intelligence recalls that on May 21, 2024, Russian media reported the detention of Major General Ivan Popov, the former commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army. He was arrested on charges of fraud and corruption related to the sale of military construction materials.

In July last year, Popov was dismissed from his post as commander of the 58th Army, which was stationed in the Zaporizhzhia sector. The general criticized the competence of the Russian defense leadership's decisions on conducting the war. He then also criticized the decision to dismiss him, saying that "our senior commander hitting us from the rear, treacherously and vilely beheading the army at the most difficult and tense moment."

According to the report, the punishment for bribery is rather a political tool in a corrupt system. There are also many instances in history where the Russian regime has used corruption allegations, real or imagined, to eliminate or punish internal critics or undesirables.

"As an army commander, Popov was generally regarded as highly competent and, according to Russian military commentators, was popular among Russian troops. His arrest is likely to further dismay Russian military personnel and reinforce to his peers in senior command positions that loyalty and obedience to the regime and one's superiors are valued more highly than competence and charisma," the report said.


At the time of the summer counteroffensive in southern Ukraine, a so-called mutiny occurred among the Russian military leadership. Russian General Ivan Popov, the commander of the 58th Army, was an active participant.

He publicly accused Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of both inaction and "beheading the army."

In July 2023, Popov was dismissed from the post of commander of the 58th Army.