Russian President Putin attends a news conference in Moscow


  • Muradov led the Eastern Group of Forces (EGF) that suffered heavy casualties in Vuhledar
  • He took over the EGF after it failed to take control of Kyiv in the early days of the war
  • An ISW assessment said Russia is struggling to make advances in the Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline

Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired senior army commander Col. Gen. Rustam Muradov as Moscow's troops fail to make any advances in the war in Ukraine, according to an intelligence report.

Muradov's dismissal comes as Russia's offensive operations along the entire Avdiivka-Donetsk City direction "decreased," as per a Russian offensive campaign assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

"A prominent Russian milblogger claimed that the pace of Russian offensive operations along the entire Avdiivka-Donetsk City frontline has decreased over the past day and emphasized that Russian forces are struggling to advance anywhere in Ukraine," the ISW reported.

"Several Russian commentators are emphasizing Russian preparations for an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive, suggesting that the overall focus of the Russian information space is shifting away from discussing Russian offensive capabilities and towards assessing Ukraine's potential to regain significant ground," the report continued.

News of Muradov's removal first circulated on Russian social media and was reported by the British Defense Ministry in its daily intelligence report. However, Russian officials have yet to confirm rumors of Muradov's dismissal.

Muradov was the commander of the Eastern Group of Forces (EGF) which apparently suffered heavy losses in its attempt to capture the eastern mining town of Vuhledar. The 5,000-strong brigade was nearly wiped out in combat after storming the town in late January. Only eight soldiers from the brigade survived the attack and were considered deserters, per a previous reporting.

In addition to personnel losses, Muradov's battalion also lost over 100 pieces of military equipment, including 36 tanks, three days into the assault on Vuhledar.

Muradov took over the EGF after it failed to take over Kyiv from the northwest during the early months of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began in February of 2022.

If confirmed, Muradov will be the most senior Russian military dismissal so far this year. However, it would not be the first time Putin has dismissed commanders amid the war in Ukraine. In January, the Russian president replaced Gen. Sergei Surovikin with Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov as the head of Russia's army in Ukraine.

Ukraine has access to Western intelligence, training and weapons