Two Ukrainian generals have been unmasked as Russian saboteurs and stripped off their ranks with immediate effect, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky told his nation under siege.
In his daily video address to the nation, Zelensky said “today another decision was made on anti-heroes, gradually all of them will be punished. That is why Andriy Olehovych Naumov, former head of the main department of internal security at the Security Service of Ukraine, and Serhiy Oleksandrovych Kryvoruchko, former head of the SBU directorate in the Kherson region, are no longer generals.”
Zelensky added that “these high-ranking servicemen, who could not decide on where their homeland is, who violate the military oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people regarding the protection of our state, its freedom, independence, will certainly be deprived of their high military rank.”
During several TV appearances in Russia this week, President Vladimir Putin seemed agitated and tired.
Putin in ‘a cage’
Meanwhile, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has claimed Vladimir Putin “is now a man in a cage he built himself”.
As the Russian war against Ukraine entered day 37, the British minister said Russia’s president no longer bore the “force” he used to.
In an interview with Sky News, he said: “President Putin is not the force he used to be. He is now a man in a cage he built himself. His army is exhausted, he has suffered significant losses.”
“The reputation of this great army of Russia has been trashed.”
“He has not only got to live with the consequences of what he is doing to Ukraine, but he has also got to live with the consequences of what he has done to his own army.
“We have seen it before. It always gets worse. It goes for more civilian attacks, more civilian areas.”
The Chief of the Defence Staff earlier expressed similar sentiments.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Russia’s bid to take all of Ukraine during its invasion looks to have “fallen apart” as Mr Putin’s troops retreat.
The head of Britain’s armed forces said the Russian leader had been “misled” about the effectiveness of his country’s armed forces, with “early indications” suggesting Moscow was withdrawing troops – a move that has opened them up to counter attacks by Ukrainian defenders.
In a speech and follow-on question-and-answer session at an Institute for Government (IfG) event, the Chief of the Defence Staff said Mr Putin was a “weaker and more diminished figure today” than he was before the invasion started on February 24.
He announced that the UK was “incredibly cautious” about believing Russian claims of ground troops withdrawing from Kyiv but said there did appear to be signs the Kremlin was preparing to focus its efforts on the east and south of Ukraine.