The Russian Defense Ministry today announced the replacement of General Mikhail Mizintsev, known in the West as the ‘Butcher of Mariupol’, as Deputy Minister in charge of Supply. The technical-material supply and supply tasks will now be carried out by General Colonel Alexéi Kuzmenkov, until now number two in the National Guard, said the statement from the Ministry of Defense.

Mizintsev’s recall comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the port of Mariupol in the Donetsk region in March, his first visit to occupied Ukraine.

Mizintsev had taken office last September after commanding the brutal siege of the port of Mariupol, whose seizure in May 2022 was key to building the corridor between Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula along the Sea of ​​Azov. For this reason, the Russian general, who also held positions of responsibility in the Russian military intervention in Syria, has been sanctioned by the West.

Recently, the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, assured that more than 90% of the city of Mariúpol has been destroyed. “Almost half a million people used to live there. And now there is practically no house left intact,” Zelensky said in a message posted on his social networks along with a video comparing satellite images from 2021 and 2023.

In these shots, obtained from Google Maps after this service updated its images of Mariupol for the first time since the start of the Russian campaign, entire blocks of buildings can be seen disappearing from mid-March 2022. “The State Russian terrorist did everything possible to destroy this city. More than 90% of Mariupol has been destroyed,” he stressed.

Some military bloggers have warned of infighting within the Russian Defense Ministry due to the lack of progress on the front. Once the news of his dismissal broke, the head of the Wagner mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin, invited Mizintsev to become part of the group’s leadership.

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