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An obese Russian retired general has been sent to fight on the frontlines in Eastern Ukraine because Vladimir Putin is running out of senior officers.
The 20 stone general, 67, is now said to be in charge of Russian special forces operating in the region after the unit’s former commander was seriously injured in an artillery strike.
The veteran of Russia ’s disastrous war in Afghanistan is known as General Pavel.
A senior intelligence source last night told the Daily Star Sunday: “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.
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“He is now dragging generals out of retirement and one of those is General Pavel.
“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.”
Pavel was a soldier for more than 40 years and became a commander of Russia’s special forces but that was 25-years ago when he was younger and fitter..
He is understood to have served in Syria just before retiring from active service five years ago.
Up until recently he was living in a Moscow suburb but is understood to have been ordered to return to active service last month.
The officer is so fat that he has to have his uniform specially made and wears two sets of body armour to cover his substantial girth.
He is understood to require five meals a day washed down with at least a litre of vodka.
Russia is believed to up to 10 generals in the war in Ukraine and as many as 30 senior officers.
Latest estimates also suggest that as many as 30,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in action and up to 100,000 have been injured.
Russia has reportedly lost over 4,000 tanks and armoured vehicles, 216 combat aircraft, 183 attack helicopters and 620 drones.
It can also be revealed that intelligence sources believe that Russia is on the verge of running out of precision weapons, such as guided missiles and even artillery rounds.
The source said: “Both Russia and Ukraine are sustaining a lot of casualties and war stocks of ammunition are running at very low rates.
“Russia has also lost a large number of tanks and armoured vehicles and these are complex pieces of equipment which cannot be easily replaced.”
- Russia Ukraine war
- Vladimir Putin
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