Russia strengthens security apparatus after Wagner uprising and continues purges of occupier command - ISW
Aggressor country Russia continues to try to reorganize its internal security apparatus after the armed rebellion of the private military company Wagner. The Kremlin has transferred one of its special units to the Rosgvardiya and wants to equip it with weapons that will help it fight the rebels more effectively.
Against this backdrop, propagandists reported that the Kremlin authorities had dismissed at least eight military commanders since the start of the war against Ukraine without reappointing them to new posts. This is according to a July 17 summary by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Kremlin reorganizes security apparatus
Alexander Khinshtein, a deputy of the illegitimate Russian State Duma, has announced the official transfer of the Grom special unit of the Federal Drug Control Service (the Russian Interior Ministry) to the Rosgvardia administration. He emphasized that the decision was made to "capitalize" on the Rosgvardia's key role in ensuring the country's internal security.
ISW reported earlier that the decision to transfer the Grom emphasizes the Kremlin's desire to consolidate effective counterinsurgency forces in Russian Federation under the command of the Rosgvardia.
Also on July 17, the State Duma additionally announced that it was considering changes to a federal law that would allow the Rosgvardiya to have transport aircraft, combat, transport and multi-purpose helicopters, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, communications complexes, boats, engineering equipment and other military and paramilitary equipment in service.
"The redeployment of Grom units to the Rosgvardiya, as well as the decision to provide it with heavy combat equipment, confirm the previous assessment that the Kremlin is continuing efforts to consolidate its internal security apparatus around Rosgvardiya structures. However, several internal security players in the Russian Federation have expressed concern and dissatisfaction with the transfer of Grom, and the reorganization of internal security agencies could cause increased tensions within Russia," ISW analysts said.
Firing of military commanders by occupation forces
The Russian opposition publication Verstka reported that Russian authorities have fired at least eight military commanders since the start of the war without reappointing them to new posts, largely in line with previous ISW estimates.
It is likely that the Kremlin fired the commanders of:
- 1st Guards Tank Army (Western Military District) Lt. Gen. Sergei Kisel in March 2022;
- Vice Admiral Igor Osipov of the Black Sea Fleet in May 2022;
- General Alexander Dvornikov 's Southern Military District in the summer of 2022;
- Colonel General Alexander Zhuravlev 's Western Military District in October 2022;
- the Eastern Military District of Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov in April 2023;
- Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, Russia's Deputy Defense Minister for Home Front, in April 2023.
According to Verstka, rumors have also emerged about the ouster of the commander of the Russian Armed Forces and former deputy commander of the Russian grouping in Ukraine, Army General Sergei Surovikin, following the June 24 uprising of the PMC Wagner. Also, Russian pro-war Telegram channels began speculating about the dismissal of Major General Vladimir Seliverstov, commander of the 106th Guards Airborne Division, in mid-July.
The publication noted that the Russian command reassigned Maj. Gen. Ivan Popov to an unspecified position in Syria after his ouster as commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army. ISW previously reported that Muradov may also serve as an adviser to the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh.
As reported OBOZREVATEL, against the background of the dismissal of generals in the Russian Federation said about "arbitrariness" and "witch hunt". In the army of the aggressor country began a "big sweep", in the blacklist were 30 top officers. About what is happening and how it will affect the war, read in the material.