A senior Russian general commanding forces in occupied southern Ukraine has alleged that he was abruptly fired from his position after accusing the Russian Defense Ministry leadership of betraying his troops by failing to provide adequate support.
General Ivan Popov, who led the 58th Combined Arms Army involved in intense fighting in the Zaporizhzhia region, made his accusations in a voice note published on Telegram. The recording was shared by Andrey Gurulev, a member of the Russian Parliament and former deputy commander of the Southern Military District.
In the audio message, Popov highlighted issues such as the lack of counter-battery combat, absence of artillery reconnaissance stations, and high casualties caused by enemy artillery. He stated that he expressed these concerns to the highest level in a frank and harsh manner, as he believed in being truthful about the problems faced by the army.
Popov directly accused Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of signing the order to dismiss him, labeling him a traitor. He expressed his dismay at how the top Kremlin official undermined the army by decapitating it at a critical and tense moment.
The 58th Combined Arms Army, based in the occupied city of Berdyansk, suffered a missile attack early Tuesday, resulting in the death of another Russian general. Both Ukrainian and Russian sources have reported on the strike.
The dismissal of a senior officer amid public accusations against the defense minister is an unprecedented development and has drawn significant attention.