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Kremlin showing cracks as Putin fires another general, British Intelligence says

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s revolving door of generals “probably” indicates fractures in the Kremlin and disagreement among top officials as the war in Ukraine enters its 11th month. 

“The continued churn of senior Russian officers probably reflects internal divisions regarding the Russian Ministry of Defense’s future conduct of the war,” a British Defense intelligence update stated on Friday. 

The report followed rumblings that Lieutenant General Yevgeniy Nikiforov is “likely in the process of taking over command” of Russia’s Western Group of Forces. 

Nikiforov previously served as the Chief of Staff of Russia’s Eastern Group of Forces, meaning he would have had a hand in planning and executing the disastrous attempt to advance on Kyiv in the initial phase of the invasion, according the British Ministry of Defense. 

XI AND PUTIN SEEK GREATER COOPERATION, BUT RUSSIA’S FAILURES IN UKRAINE MAY STRAIN RELATIONSHIP, EXPERT SAYS

The report also noted that Nikiforov would be “at least” the fourth commander of the Western groups since the start of the invasion, replacing Colonel General Sergei Kuzovlev, who served for only three months in his role. 

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov attend a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 27. 

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov attend a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 27. 
(Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS)

The failure to decisively end the conflict has seen Russia and Ukraine enter the 11th month of fighting with little end in sight. Russia has started to run short on munitions, seeking help from Iran and North Korea to replenish rocket and artillery ammunition before possibly running out in early 2023. 

PUTIN’S THUG ARMY: RUSSIA DEPLOYS SOCCER HOOLIGANS TO UKRAINE AS WAR DRAGS ON

A senior U.S. military official told reporters earlier this month that Russia’s “fully serviceable” ammunitions are “rapidly dwindling,” and it is likely forcing them to rely on arms with “downgraded conditions.” 

The Grand Kremlin palace, left, and the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Russia announced the start of a pullback of some forces after drills that raised U.S. and European alarm about a possible military assault on Ukraine. 

The Grand Kremlin palace, left, and the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Russia announced the start of a pullback of some forces after drills that raised U.S. and European alarm about a possible military assault on Ukraine. 
(Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Britain has continued to support Ukraine with direct weapons supplies and a training program that aims to better prepare the defense forces to protect their homeland. 

RUSSIA’S LAVROV FLAT-OUT REJECTS ZELENSKYY’S CONDITIONS FOR ‘PEACE FORMULA’

Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine and Strategy and a former Director of National Intelligence officer, wrote in an op-ed for Fox News Digital that “the probability of a peace settlement remains extremely low.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, attends the Victory Day military parade marking the 77th anniversary of the end of World War II in Moscow Monday, May 9, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, attends the Victory Day military parade marking the 77th anniversary of the end of World War II in Moscow Monday, May 9, 2022.
(Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

“Moscow, Kyiv and Washington — the key stakeholders in the current war — maintain irreconcilable positions while pursuing unachievable goals,” Koffler wrote. 

“Putin, despite tactical setbacks on the battlefield, insists on the West’s recognition of Crimea, which Russia invaded in 2014, and four other recently annexed territories in Eastern Ukraine, as Russian,” she explained. “This is a non-starter for the U.S. or Europe, as such a concession would amount to handing victory to Putin.”

However, she also argues that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “continues to pursue unrealistic war aims,” including total territorial integrity and compensation for the destruction of the nation, along with key Russian officials and soldiers to face an International Criminal Court tribunal. 

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“The Russians have a very high tolerance for casualties, having sacrificed more than 20 million during World War II,” Koffler stressed. “Unless Washington steps in and compels Zelenskyy to negotiate an end to this bitter, devastating stalemate, Putin will fight till the last Ukrainian standing.”

Fox News Digital’s Caitlin McFall and Liz Friden contributed to this report. 

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