Russia’s military setbacks in Ukraine have led to internal recriminations, a British intelligence report says, the latest indication that the Kremlin is recognizing shortcomings in the battlefield even as it claims victories.
Britain’s defense intelligence agency said in a report Thursday that the commander of the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, Lt. Gen. Serhiy Kisel, had been suspended for failure to capture the northeast city of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest.
Ukrainian forces have not only counterattacked but driven the invaders back toward the Russian border 40 miles away.
The British agency also said that the commander of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, Vice Adm. Igor Osipov, had likely been suspended following the April sinking of the fleet’s flagship, the cruiser Moskva.
Asked about the report, a senior Pentagon went further, saying the commander had been dismissed.
The Russians have said nothing about any changes in the military leadership. They said an on-board munitions fire was responsible for the loss of the Moskva. Western military officials have corroborated Ukraine’s claims that it sank the vessel.