Fleet commander-in-chief and defense minister also disappeared… Putin’s Great Purge “Background to the Shudder” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Fleet commander-in-chief and defense minister also disappeared… Putin’s Great Purge “Background to the Shudder”

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President Vladimir Putin deepens his isolation by quieting his entourage (Image: AFP/Afro)

Black smoke billows up. The deck is gradually tilting. The huge ship exploded into flames and slowly sank to the bottom of the sea.

A video purportedly showing the Russian missile cruiser Moscow records the ship’s brutal demise. On April 13, the Ukrainian government announced that the Moscow had been hit by two Neptune surface-to-ship missiles. The next day, it was confirmed that the ship had sunk.

The “Moscow,” equipped with long-range anti-aircraft missiles and air defense radar, is a warship that symbolizes the Russian Navy, as evidenced by the fact that it is named after the capital city. It was about 180 meters long and carried a crew of about 500 men.

Its predecessor was the “Slava” (meaning glory in Russian), the most advanced missile cruiser of the time, which was decided to be built in 1974. It was the only ship in the Black Sea Fleet to be equipped with long-range anti-aircraft missiles, with an air defense range of 200 km radius. The Russian military must be devastated by the sinking of their flagship,” said a reporter from the international section of a national newspaper.

The Russian side acknowledged the sinking, but denied any attack by Ukrainian forces. The Russian side admitted that the ship sank, but denied that it was attacked by Ukrainian forces, saying that it was because “the explosives on board exploded. However, the humiliation of having their flagship sunk seems to have angered President Vladimir Putin immensely.

According to the Ukrainian media outlet Business Ukraine, the commander-in-chief of the Black Sea Fleet, Igor Osipov, was arrested by the Russian Federal Security Service on April 16. The arrest of the Commander-in-Chief was naturally influenced by President Vladimir Putin’s ideas” (ibid.).

The reason for his disappearance is “myocardial infarction”!

The commander-in-chief of the Black Sea Fleet is not the only high-ranking official suspected of being purged by President Putin. The man known as “Putin’s right-hand man” has also been missing for some time. Itsuro Nakamura, a professor at Tsukuba Gakuin University and an expert on the situation in Russia, explains.

Sergei Shoigu is the defense minister. Mr. Shoigu served as governor of Moscow Oblast and is a trusted figure in Mr. Putin’s administration after the successful annexation of Crimea. Mr. Shoigu disappeared from public life for two weeks in mid-March. It is reported in Russia that he was in intensive care due to a myocardial infarction.

He then participated in an online conference and met with Vladimir Putin on March 21, but his smile never left his face. I sensed a deep rift between the two men. Mr. Shoigu may be under some strong sanctions. There have been a number of cases in the past where people inconvenient to Mr. Putin have disappeared because of ‘heart attacks.

Several Western media outlets have reported that senior officials of the Russian FSB have also been arrested and their organization altered. Why is it that President Vladimir Putin has been purging key figures since his invasion of Ukraine? Professor Nakamura continues.

One is that Russian military casualties are increasing day by day, and there is a growing opposition within the government to the invasion of Ukraine. Perhaps Mr. Shoigu also protested against Mr. Putin’s methods, and was upset by them.

The second is the blame game. He blames the commanders in the field, despite the fact that they are struggling due to his own naive outlook and disregard for the capabilities of the Ukrainian military. If the arrest of the commander-in-chief of the Black Sea Fleet is true, it will be a pretext for the sinking of the “Moscow. I feel that he is trying to intimidate his own soldiers by showing them that this is what will happen if they fail.

No matter how many rebellious aides are eliminated, the situation will not get any better. Putin has become increasingly isolated as a result of the purge.

  • Photo AFP/Afro

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