Putin dismisses Colonel General after hes branded talentless by Kadyrov
The Commander of the Russian Armed Forces’ Central Military District, Colonel General Alexander Lapin, has been dismissed from his post by president Vladimir Putin after a warlord dubbed him "talentless".
Chechen state television and radio, and an RBK source were among those reporting Lapin's removal.
Lapin began serving as Commander of the Central Military District in 2017, having previously acted as the Commander of the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army, and the Commander of the Russian forces in Syria.
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Head of the Chechen Republic and warlord Ramzan Kadyrov, has remained outspoken against Lapin's military supervision. As noted by independent news website Meduza, Kadyrov accused Lapin of being "talentless", aligning his military failings as the cause of surrendering Ukrainian city, Lyman.
According to Kadyrov, Lapin's leadership of Lyman fell short of providing his army with necessary resources, instead choosing to "hide" in Luhansk.
Russian independent news outlet Sota corroborates Kadyrov's claims, accusing Lapin of threatening a mobilised serviceman. The publication alledges that Lapin put a pistol to the company commander's head, forcing him to retreat without authorisation after the Svatove district's shelling, "with a demand to turn back".
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After Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2021, one of the first mentions of Lapin in the media detailed his allocation of awards to soldiers "on the front line" who "showed courage and heroism during the liberation of cities and towns in Chernihiv Oblast."
In the days that followed, Russia withdrew all its troops from Northern Ukraine, including the Chernihiv region. The BBC Russian Service also reported that Alexander Lapin's son, Lieutenant Colonel Denis Lapin, was among those honoured.
Kadyrov's rebuke of Lapin extends to questioning the validity of the ex-general's award as Hero of Russia, granted by Putin in July 2022 for the capture of Lysychansk, a ceremony that Kadyrov alleges "[Lapin] was not even present."
More recently, Kadyrov has uncharacteristically admitted to major battlefield losses of his own troops in the Russian army. Ukrainian artillery shelling led to twenty three deaths and fifty eight injuries – a rare acknowledgment of defeat from the Chechen leader.
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