A total of around 21,000 Russian soldiers have died since Russia invaded Ukraine – while Putin is withdrawing from northern Ukraine, Russian troops are now to launch a new offensive in the east in the so-called “Battle for Donbass”.
Credit: Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin Pool via ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock)
A number of former close allies of Vladimir Putin have met horrible ends – some have seemingly disappeared from public view altogether.
It comes after Putin lost his eighth general battle in Ukraine, another major blow to his war effort.
Major General Vladimir Frolov, Deputy Commander of the 8th Combined Arms Army, was buried in St. Petersburg with full military honors.
Around 21,000 Russian soldiers have died since Russia invaded Ukraine.
After withdrawing from northern Ukraine, Russian troops are now to launch a new offensive in the east in the so-called “Battle for Donbass”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address: “A very large part of the entire Russian army is now focused on this offensive.”
As sources claim Putin is becoming increasingly frustrated with backlash on invasion plans, here we look at a number of top officials in his regime who have been found dead, disappeared or arrested.
RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY PRESS SERVICE/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
The mystery surrounding Vladimir Putin’s “missing” defense minister has deepened after his daughter shared a heartfelt message saying she was “proud” of him.
General Sergei Shoigu, 66, has been sidelined by the Russian president over the failure of the war, some sources said.
Others claim Shoigu suffered a “massive heart attack,” with a leading Putin enemy even suggesting that it was not from natural causes.
While other reports said Putin ordered him to operate from a nuclear bunker in Russia’s Ural Mountains.
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The bodies of multi-millionaire Vladislav Avayev, his wife Yelena and their 13-year-old daughter were found by his older daughter Anastasia in the 14th-floor apartment complex.
Like Yelena (47) and Maria (13), he had gunshot wounds.
Avayev previously worked as a high-flying executive at Gazprombank, a key player in Vladimir Putin’s gas-for-ruble plan to thwart Western sanctions.
According to Anastasia, a total of 13 weapons were found in the luxury apartment, which was locked from the inside.
Russian intelligence has launched an investigation into the deaths, with initial reports suggesting it was a double homicide and suicide.
Colonel-General Sergei Beseda, 68, head of the 5th branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB), was placed under house arrest.
He has now been remanded in the notorious Lefortovo prison, suggesting he faces serious charges of intelligence failure, sources say.
The move is seen as a warning to other senior Putin aides who are expected to take the blame for the staggering Russian death toll in Ukraine.
Beseda’s case is being investigated by the Investigative Committee’s Military Investigative Branch, said Russian intelligence expert Andrei Soldierov, who revealed the Lefortovo move.
The officer in charge of the FSB’s intelligence and political subversion in the former USSR had been on a trip to Ukraine shortly before his arrest.
Putin is said to fear that moles have leaked invasion plans to the West, and Beseda was arrested along with his deputy, Anatoly Boljukh, but has so far been under house arrest.
In March, General Roman Gavrilov, deputy chief of the Russia ‘s Rosgvardia unit, which spearheaded the first push into Ukrainian territory, was arrested by the feared Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.
According to Christo Grozev, a Bulgarian investigative journalist, the reason for the arrest is unclear. He cites a course saying he was arrested for “leaks of military intelligence that resulted in loss of life,” while two others say it was “wasteful waste of fuel.”
Taken together, the reports suggest various officials are challenging Putin as Western sanctions begin to take hold in Russia.
Reports from Moscow claim that Putin’s former aide Vladislav Surkov is being held under house arrest as part of a massive criminal investigation that has also included the arrest of around 150 Russian security agents.
The inquiry looks into the alleged embezzlement of £4billion by security services to try to build a network of undercover intelligence officers in Ukraine.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Surkov is widely credited with keeping Putin in power.
Surkov is said to have created opposing political parties that were in fact run by the Kremlin.
He also founded Nashi, similar to the Hitler Youth in Germany, whose members beat up supporters of the same parties.
Last year Surkov told this financial times : “People need [propaganda]. Most people need their head to be filled with thoughts.
“You will not feed people a highly intellectual discourse. Most people eat simple foods… In general, most people consume very simple beliefs.
“That’s normal. There’s haute cuisine and there’s McDonald’s.”
The former Putin aide reportedly encouraged the Russian president to believe Ukraine was not a real country and urged Russia to also annex Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/putins-close-allies-died-gone-26749686 Putin's close allies who died, went to jail or suffered mysterious 'heart attacks' - World News