Putins killer team of generals gassed kids, bombed hospitals and shot planes

Despite suffering significant high-ranking losses during the invasion of Ukraine, Russia still has several powerful men at the top.

Russia president Vladimir Putin has been reportedly looking at his own inner circle to find blame for the reason why his invasion was not ended in the 72 hours he first predicted.

And those he hasn't yet turned against, or haven't been killed in battle, still hold the balance of power on the battlefield in their hand.

General Sergei Shoigu has commanded Russia's armed forces since 2012.

Until earlier today, it had been rumoured that he was suffering from ill health.

But he appeared on Russian TV, in video footage showing him chairing a meeting at the Kremlin.

Although it was broadcast today in Russia, it was on a Kremlin-run TV station which means it could have been filmed at any time.

Shoigu is the man behind Putin's Yunarmiya – meaning youth army.

The Russian president gave the go-head to establish the All-Russia "Young Army" National Military Patriotic Social Movement Association in 2015 – and he put Shoigu in charge.

The force, formed mainly of schoolchildren, has grown massively since then and is now thought to have more than one million members, and is known in Russia as “YunArmia”.

Described as a "military and patriotic" organisation, YunArmia – for girls as well as boys – has been criticised as an echo of Hitler Youth.

And some of those aged 17 were recently called up to replenish the army fighting in Ukraine.

Colonel General Sergey Rudskoy, deputy head of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces claimed yesterday that Russia might be looking to scale back on its invasion, after stating that the “main tasks of the first stage of the operation” in the country were complete.

According to Human Rights Watch, Rudskoy is the man behind the bloody conflict in Syria, specifically actions taken in the last few years.

The organisation found that he was directly responsible for attacks which killed in total 39 adults, three girls and one boy, while 18 further children were among the 109 injured – those who died included people being decapitated, burned or found “without limbs”.

He denied responsibility for the attacks, as well as the bombing of the al-Skahour hospital.

Another one of Putin's top generals is Colonel General Sergei Surovikin.

He has had power since the days of the Soviety Union, when he killed three peaceful protestors by leading an armoured column in Moscow which ran them down during the attempted coup of 1991.

He was given a new role of General to the Army last year, and was also head of Russia's forces in Syria for a short while in 2017.

In February, he was added to the EU's sanctions list for being “responsible for actively supporting and implementing actions and policies that undermine and threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine as well as the stability or security in Ukraine.”
He is revered in his home country, where he was awarded the Hero of the Russian Federation in December 2017

And finally, rounding off a murderous quartet is Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov

The 60-year-old was, until recently, in charge of Putin's forces in Syria, but in 2014 he led the army into Crimea where he was heading up the annexation.

He was also involved in the first and second Chechen wars, and the war in Donbass.

All of which saw him honoured with a Hero of the Russian Federation aware, as well as several other awards, including orders for courage, honour and service to the homeland.

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