Russian president Vladimir Putin has reportedly fired Dmitry Bulgakov, the general responsible for managing the Russian military’s faltering logistics operations in Ukraine, and replaced him with Mikhail Mizintsev, known as “the butcher of Mariupol”.
The defence ministry said on Telegram on Saturday that general Bulgakov was “released” to transfer into a new role. He will reportedly be replaced by colonel general Mizintsev, who managed Russia’s siege at the port city of Mariupol in March.
Mr Mizintsev was dubbed “the butcher of Mariupol” by many Ukrainians.
As per the BBC, these personnel changes come amid reports that Mr Putin has taken personal charge of the war effort and has started issuing orders to generals in Ukraine himself.
According to Russian media reports from earlier this week, Moscow is looking to mobilise up to one million reservists for the Ukraine war.
A secret clause in Russian president Putin’s “partial” mobilisation decree permits the Kremlin to draft far more soldiers than announced, a source told the Novaya Gazeta Europe newspaper.
“They changed the figure several times and eventually settled on a million,” the source said.
The Kremlin, however, has denied the one million figure, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling it “a lie”.
Russia’s mobilisation, announced on Wednesday, is the first since the Second World War.
The development sparked the country’s first mass anti-war protests in months, resulting in the arrest of more than 1,300 people in 39 cities across Russia, according to rights groups.
The enlistment drive has also reportedly led to a large-scale exodus of those who might be eligible for the draft.