The “Butcher of Mariupol” promoted in the reshuffle of the Russian army

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Vladimir Putin has ousted the Russian general who was responsible for the chaotic logistics operation that crippled his army as its invasion of Ukraine floundered – and named a notoriously brutal replacement.

General Dmitry Bulgakov, 67, was “released” on Saturdaysaid the Russian Defense Ministry on Telegram, so that he could be transferred to a new but unspecified role.

Bulgakov’s successor, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, is the infamous “Butcher of Mariupol” who ordered some of the worst atrocities of the Ukrainian invasion – including an airstrike on a maternity hospital and an attack on a theater that housed hundreds of children.

Previously, Mizintsev was in charge of the siege of Aleppo in Syria, where he ordered cluster bomb strikes on residential areas to shell the city and subjugate it.

Bulgakov has been blamed for Russia’s chronic failure to keep its troops in Ukraine fed and armed – forcing a humiliating retreat from Kyiv and the purchase of artillery and drones from North Korea and Iran, two of the only countries willing to deal with the pariah nation.

People visit a polling station at the Don State Technical University in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, September 24.
Sergei Pivovarov/REUTERS
Army General Dmitry Bulgakov
Army General Dmitry Bulgakov has been “released” to assume an unspecified role.
Vadim Savitsky/east2west

Meanwhile, the British Ministry of Defense reported, Russian troops attacked a dam on the Siverskyi Donets River with short-range ballistic missiles with the aim of flooding Ukrainian military crossings and slowing their progress.

The bombing missions, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, “probably did not cause significant disruption to Ukrainian operations”, the ministry noted.

Armed Russian troops continued their door-to-door efforts in the occupied Ukrainian areas of Donetsk and Lugansk to force residents to “vote” in a mock referendum to secede and join Russia.

The vote “was more like an opinion poll under the guns”, Lugansk said Governor Serhiy Haidai.

A resident places a ballot in a mobile ballot box carried by members of an electoral commission
A local resident places a ballot in a mobile ballot box carried by members of an election commission in Mariupol, Ukraine on September 24.
Alexander Ermoshenko/REUTERS

About 100 refugees from crumbling Mariupol have gathered in Kyiv to protest against the fake election, which echoes the 2014 referendum that Russia used as a pretext for its annexation of Crimea.

“It’s an illusion of choice when there isn’t one,” Elina Sytkova, 21, told CNBC.

Army General Dmitry Bulgakov (circled) with President Vladimir Putin in 2015.
Army General Dmitry Bulgakov with President Vladimir Putin in 2015.
MoD Russia/e2w

In New York, China continued to show its dissatisfaction with Putin’s invasion.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who met his Ukrainian counterpart this week at the UN General Assembly, “call[ed] all parties concerned to prevent the crisis from spilling over and to protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries,” he said. said in a speech to the General Assembly on Saturday.


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