Now that Vladimir Putin is running out of senior officers, an obese Russian retired general has been sent to fight on the frontlines in Eastern Ukraine.
According to the Daily Star, the 67-year-old 20-stone general is now said to be in command of Russian special forces operating in the region, following the death of the unit’s former commander in an artillery strike.
General Pavel is a veteran of Russia’s disastrous war in Afghanistan.
“Putin is now scraping the barrel,” a senior intelligence source told the Daily Star on Sunday.
Because the majority of his best and most battle-hardened senior commanders have been killed or injured fighting in Ukraine, he is resorting to sending second-rate officers to the front who don’t last long.
He is now dragging retired generals out of retirement, including General Pavel.
Putin is like a mafia boss to whom no one can object. There isn’t much a retired general can do if he receives a message from Putin saying that mother Russia needs him to fight in Ukraine. Because of the sanctions, there is now an escape from Russia.
Pavel served in the army for over 40 years and rose to the rank of commander of Russia’s special forces, but that was 25 years ago, when he was younger and fitter.
He is believed to have served in Syria shortly before retiring from active duty five years ago.
He was living in a Moscow suburb until recently, but he was ordered to return to active duty last month.
The officer is so large that he requires a custom-made uniform and two sets of body armor to cover his considerable girth.
He is said to need five meals per day, washed down with at least a litre of vodka.
Russia is believed to have up to ten generals and 30 senior officers involved in the Ukrainian conflict.
According to the most recent estimates, up to 30,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in action, and up to 100,000 have been injured.
Over 4,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 216 combat aircraft, 183 attack helicopters, and 620 drones are said to have been lost by Russia.
According to intelligence sources, Russia is on the verge of running out of precision weapons such as guided missiles and even artillery rounds.
“Both Russia and Ukraine are sustaining a lot of casualties and war stocks of ammunition are running at very low rates,” the source said.
“Russia has also lost a large number of tanks and armoured vehicles and these are complex pieces of equipment which cannot be easily replaced.”