Putin dismisses commander of “Dnepr” group of troops, appoints successor
Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinsky, commander of the Airborne Forces, has replaced Colonel-General Oleg Makarevich as commander of the Russian "Dnepr" group of troops operating in the Kherson direction, southern Ukraine
The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported the information.
"The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has not announced or confirmed reports of Makarevich’s dismissal at the time of this publication and is unlikely to do so given its tendency to regularly conceal high-profile military command changes," the report says.
One Russian blogger claimed that Russian leader Vladimir Putin fired Makarevich during his recent visit to the headquarters of the Southern Military District (SMD) in Rostov-on-Don on October 19.
The blogger also claimed that Teplinsky was actually demoted from his position as deputy overall theater commander, although it is unclear whether he still holds this position.
A Kremlin-linked milblogger claimed that rumors of Makarevich's dismissal had emerged over the past week and that his resignation was "long overdue" due to his attitude toward the military situation in the Kherson direction. He added that the Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff, Colonel General Alexei Kim, is in fact in command of the entire Joint Grouping of Russian forces in Ukraine. ISW is unable to independently verify these claims.
The report of Makarevich's dismissal indicates that the Kremlin or Russian military commanders may be sufficiently concerned and skeptical about his ability to repel recent larger-than-usual Ukrainian ground operations on the eastern shore of the Kherson region.
A Kremlin-linked millblogger claimed that Makarevich's ouster was most likely due to a small Ukrainian "bridgehead" in Krynky (a village on the eastern shore of the Kherson region). Other Russian milbloggers echoed similar theories, claiming that Makarevich's negligence and the command's extreme lack of initiative led to Ukrainian landings on the eastern shore of the Kherson region on numerous occasions.
One of the milbloggers associated with the Wagner Group claimed that Makarevich was removed from his post after unidentified intelligence officers informed the Russian "high command" that Makarevich had not provided accurate information about the situation in his area of responsibility.
- Earlier, ISW reported that Russian troops had begun using a new version of the Lancet “kamikaze” drone, which is capable of autonomously identifying targets.