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Russian General Alexander Lapin Fired After Ukraine War Criticism

BY Anas Shah Oct 31, 2022. 05:32 pm UPDATED: Oct 31, 2022. 05:32 pm

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According to a pro-Kremlin media outlet, General Alexander Lapin, the commander of Russia’s largest military district, was dismissed following weeks of criticism on the management of the Ukraine war.

According to the website of the Grozny TV station, Lapin, the commander of the Central Military District of the Russian Armed Forces, has been relieved of his duties, according to a report on Saturday by the Russian news agency RBK.

Separately, Lapin had been fired, according to a source in the Russian Defense Ministry, according to independent Russian news outlet The Moscow Times. The Defense Ministry of Russia hasn’t formally acknowledged the reports, and his information is still available on the official website.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, and Yevgeny Prigozhin, the creator of the Russian mercenary group the Wagner Group, have both lately criticized Lapin, holding him responsible for the destruction of Lyman, an important supply hub in eastern Ukraine.

Kadyrov harshly lambasted Lapin just days prior to the rumored removal of Lapin, joining Prigozhin in his criticism of the defense ministry.

Kadyrov mentioned Prigozhin in a post on Telegram, calling him a “dear brother” and “a born warrior.” He said that “it is necessary to pay close attention to the assessment of such people, listen, draw conclusions.”

“They know for sure what is right and wrong in war,” Kadyrov wrote. “As [Prigozhin] correctly noted, tactical and personnel changes are needed. Now, not tomorrow.”

Kadyrov previously criticized the general, saying that if he had his way, he would demote Lapin to a private, take away his honors, and send him to the front lines with a machine gun so he could wipe away his humiliation with blood.

This past Friday, the research tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) stated that Kadyrov’s recent criticism of Lapin is “likely” in response to Ukraine’s “attack on Chechen units in northern Kherson Oblast.” According to Kadyrov, 23 military personnel were murdered and 58 others were injured.

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The ISW said that “Kadyrov accused Lapin of neglecting to communicate with Chechen officials, alleging that he had attempted to reach Lapin but been unable to discuss Ukrainian breakthroughs near Lyman.” Prior to the Ukrainians taking it back in a counteroffensive a few weeks ago, Russian soldiers had held Lyman.

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