Putin Fires Five Generals as Russia's Military Failures in Ukraine Continue

Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired five generals and one police colonel, according to a report from Moscow-based media group RBC, amid the country's military failures in Ukraine.

Putin reportedly issued a decree on Monday that saw five generals at the Russian Ministry of the Internal Affairs dismissed from their posts in what one unnamed official said was part of a personnel rotation.

The report comes as the Russian invasion of Ukraine nears its 100th day and Putin's forces have suffered serious military setbacks, failing to take the capital city of Kyiv and facing fierce resistance from the Ukrainian military.

The center of the fighting has now moved to the eastern Donbas region of the country, where there has been heavy Russian shelling and reported street fighting in the city of Severodonetsk.

RBC reported on Wednesday that it had obtained a copy of Putin's decree and listed the names and positions of the individuals who were reportedly dismissed from their posts.

Those fired included Major General of Police Vasily Kukushkin, who was head of the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Vladimir region; Major General Alexander Laas, deputy head of the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Altai Territory and Major General Andrey Lipilin, head of the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Yaroslavl Region.

Major General Alexander Udovenko of the Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Major General Yuri Instrankin, deputy head of the Department for Logistics and Medical Support of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, were also reportedly dismissed.

Putin has also reportedly fired Police Colonel Emil Musin, who was the first deputy head of the Forensic Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The reports of the most recent firings come after Putin reportedly dismissed other senior officials last month. On May 19, the U.K. Ministry of Defense reported that Putin had fired two senior commanders - Lieutenant General Serhiy Kisel, who had commanded the 1st Guards Tank Army, and Vice Admiral Igor Osipov of the Black Sea Fleet.

Osipov was reportedly fired following the sinking of the Russian flagship Moskva, which was a major embarrassment to the Russians but considered a significant victory by the Ukrainians.

General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of general staff, is still reportedly on staff but he was not present at the Victory Day parade on May 9 that marked the former Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany. His absence raised questions about his position, but Gerasimov spoke by phone with General Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, on May 19.

The reported firings come as Russian forces appear to not have achieved their military goals in Ukraine. Moscow was unable to capture Kyiv during the opening stages of the conflict, and the U.S. and Western allies have supplied the Ukrainians with military and humanitarian aid, including weapons, and imposed crippling sanctions on Russia.

However, Russian forces are reportedly in control of most of the city of Severodonetsk. Local Governor Sergiy Gaiday said on Tuesday that "90 percent" of the city had been destroyed.

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian government's press service for comment.

Update 06/01/22 10.15 a.m. E.T.: This article was updated to include more information and a new image.

Vladimir Putin Attends a Summit in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly dismissed five generals. Pictured, Putin seen during the Summit of Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) at the Grand Kremlin Palace, May 16, 2022, in Moscow. Getty Images