Major General Ivan Popov said that he was removed from the post of commander of the Russian 58th Combined Arms Army, which is fighting in the south of Ukraine in the Zaporizhzhia region. The audio recording of Popov's appeal to his subordinates was published by the Russian State Duma MP, Andrei Gurulev, who was also a commander of the 58th Army in the past.
In his message, Popov said that he was dismissed for because in his report to his commanders he "called a spade a spade", outlined problematic issues in the Russian in combat and logistics.
Popov claims that he drew attention of the Russian military leadership to "the absence of counter-battery capabilities, artillery reconnaissance stations," as well as the "mass death and injury" of Russian servicemen caused by the enemy artillery fire - "the main tragedy of modern warfare." According to the Major General, he outlined several issues that "were brought up at the highest level, frankly and extremely harshly."
"Honestly, I tell you - there was a difficult situation with the senior authorities, when it was necessary either to be silent and cowardly, or to call a spade a spade. I outlined all the problematic issues that exist today in the army in terms of combat work and logistics. I called a spade a spade … In this regard, the senior commanders, apparently, felt some kind of danger in me and swiftly, in one day, concocted an order. The Defense Minister signed the order, and got rid of me," Popov said.
According to the Telegram channel Vchka-OGPU, Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov decided to remove Popov after he complained that his units had been on the front line for a long time and should be rotated. Popov said he was ready to report the problems to Putin.
At the end of June, The Moscow Times, citing two sources close to the Russian Defense Ministry, reported that the commander-in-chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces, General Sergei Surovikin, had been detained. There were no official comments from the Kremlin. But after reports of his detention, the general never appeared in public.
Analysts from the British Ministry of Defense drew attention to the fact that on July 10, during an online briefing, the Chief of Staff of the Russian Army , Valery Gerasimov, spoke with Colonel-General Viktor Afzalov, Surovikin's first deputy. According to the British analysts, this shows that Surovikin was removed from office and, possibly, detained.