Russian President Vladimir Putin has called a 67-year-old general out of retirement to lead forces in Ukraine after at least 11 of his best senior commanders have been killed in action.
General Pavel was enjoying his comfortable life in the suburbs of Moscow when he was ordered to join the front lines in eastern Ukraine.
Reports say that he will command Russian special forces operating in the region after the former commander was left severely injured.
General Pavel, a member of Russian’s special forces and a veteran of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, has retired five years ago.
The retired general is understood to eat five meals a day and flush it down with a liter of vodka.
Since returning to service, the 280lb general had to have his uniform specially made.
Speaking to the Daily Star Sunday, a senior intelligence source said: “Putin is now scraping the barrel. Most of his best and battle-hardened senior commanders have been killed or injured fighting in Ukraine so he is resorting to sending second rate officers to the front who don’t last very long.”
The source continued: “Putin is like a mafia boss who no one can refuse to obey. If a retired general gets a message from Putin saying mother Russia needs you to fight in Ukraine there is not much you can do.
“There is now escape from Russia thanks to the sanctions.”
There have been reports that the Russian President has sacked Gen Alexander Dvornikov, his number one general in Ukraine.
Known as the ‘Butcher of Aleppo’ for his aerial destruction of Syria’s largest city in 2015, Dvornikov’s dismissal would mark another major shake up of Putin’s command structure.
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