Putin purged dozens of high-ranking military officers as officials stole millions of dollars from the Ministry of Defense

Vladimir Putin is set to cause a sweeping storm within Russia by arresting dozens of military top brass, say sources close to the Kremlin.

The despot is believed to be looking to pin his own failures to defeat Ukraine on a number of men as he looks to unleash his brutal Federal Security Service (FSB) agents to hunt them down.

Five military officers have already been detained in recent weeks under Putin’s watch. But sources close to the Kremlin and the Defense Ministry have sensationally revealed to The Moscow Times that the number of high profile arrests will rise in a purge of the Russian military.

Such a chilling purge wouldn’t have been witnessed since the days of tyrant Joseph Stalin. One source said: “There is a fierce cleanup underway. The FSB is mopping up [former Defense Minister Sergei] Shoigu’s team. It’s to be expected.

“This kind of operation can only be carried out with approval at the very top. “There is still a long way to go before the purges are finished. More arrests await us.”

Corruption is deeply rooted in the Russian MOD, and it is likely that there will be further arrests, UK Ministry Of Defence said.

Political scientist Valery Solovey agreed as he mentioned knowing at least three more generals who could soon be on Putin’s chopping block. A couple dozen colonels are also on the detention list, he says.

Just hours ago, the UK Ministry of Defence put out a warning on the issue of corruption in the Kremlin saying: “Corruption is deeply rooted in the Russian MOD, and it is likely that there will be further arrests.”

The arrests so far have been for a number of reasons with many being linked to “corruption charges”.

A paranoid Putin is thought to be looking to shake out his inner circle in a total rejig of his cabinet since he sacked his long-term Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

He replaced Shoigu with economist Andrey Belousov and charged him with rooting out corruption in the Russian war machine. Belousov was bought in to reportedly fix Russia’s economy so their increased defense budget can work.

Shoigu’s deputy defence minister Timur Ivanov, 48, was quickly detained and handcuffed by heavily armed FSB officers at his doctor’s surgery as he went for a medical check up. He faces charges of accepting bribes totalling more than $15million.

Ivanov was publicly shamed when he was paraded into court on corruption charges and suspected accusations of treason. Lt-Gen Vadim Shamarin, 52, was then accused this week of receiving a “particularly large bribe” as he faces 15 years behind bars.

The Kremlin puppet – whose home was raided by the FSB – works as deputy chief of the general staff for Putin’s warped armed forces. He also heads communications for the army and is heavily involved with the war in Ukraine.

The committee also announced the arrest of Vladimir Verteletsky – an official from the defence ministry’s department for ensuring state orders. Verteletsky had “been charged with the abuse of his official powers” and has been placed in detention.

Investigators accuse Verteletsky of taking a bribe in relation to a government contract in 2022, the first year of Moscow’s offensive costing the state “over 70 million rubles” ($800m).

The two arrests follow a further string of similar and sudden detentions. Lt-Gen Yuri Kuznetsov, 55, was dragged from his bed at 5am and arrested by armed cops last week. Putin’s police, clad in balaclavas, smashed into his home using crowbars to take him into detention.

He faces “criminal charges over state secrets” and was taken away to be interrogated. Kuznetsov was in charge of the ministry’s main personnel department but his detention was linked to a previous role guarding military state secrets.

Investigators said they found $900,000 in roubles and foreign currency as well as “gold coins, collectable watches and luxury items” after searching his house.

Other recent shock exits for Putin’s cronies include Deputy Defence Minister Tatiana Shevtsova who resigned and First Deputy to the Russian Minister of Defence Ruslan Tsalikov who quit. Alexei Krivoruchko, CEO of Kalashnikov concern also quit suddenly.

It comes as reports suggest Putin teeters on the edge of giving up with his invasion of Ukraine. Sources close to his inner circle, claim the tyrant is ready to offer Ukraine a ceasefire opportunity but only if Kyiv gives up all the territory stolen by Russia.

The shocking revelation comes off the back of Ukraine claiming to have wiped out over 500,000 Russian soldiers since the war began in 2022. Kyiv also said Moscow’s crumbling army has also lost some 22,000 tanks and armoured vehicles and nearly 700 aircraft.

The death of Putin’s soldiers have faced a grisly uptake since their savage Kharkiv offensive started earlier this month. With his assault stalling, it has been reported up to 1,100 troops are dying every day in the fighting focused around the north-eastern border between Ukraine and Russia.

Any potential pause in the fighting will have to recognise the current battlefield lines, sources close to Putin’s inner circle claim. One said: “Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire to freeze the war.”

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has previously admitted his boss is open to a dialogue with Ukraine and the West to achieve its goals. Saying Russia wasn’t looking for an eternal war.

But the recent appointment of Andrei Belousov as Russia’s defence minister was seen by some experts as placing Russia on a permanent war footing in order to prolong conflict through their economy.

Europe’s biggest ground conflict since World War Two has cost tens of thousands of lives on both sides and led to sweeping Western sanctions on Russia’s economy. Putin understood any dramatic new advances would require another nationwide mobilisation, which he didn’t want, the sources said.

The prospect of a ceasefire, or even peace talks, currently seems remote. The Kremlin’s latest brazen power move is set to push Nato allies to their limits as Russia looks to taunt the West with military experts warning The Sun it could “trigger WW3”.

Europe is on edge after Putin’s defence ministry announced a shock bid to change Russian maritime borders with Finland and Lithuania on Wednesday. Russia is said to be trying to redraw their territorial waters to steal areas in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland and near the cities of Baltiysk and Zelenodradsk in the Kaliningrad region.

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