Vladimir Putin has brought a mothballed general out of retirement, and he is a real heavyweight.
General Pavel, 67, who weighs nearly 300 pounds, has been pulled away from his suburban Moscow dinner table and sent to the front lines in Ukraine after several military leaders have been killed or purged in the war. The corpulent commander will be in charge of Russia’s special forces.
“Putin is now scraping the barrel,” a senior intelligence source told the Daily Star. “Most of his best and battle-hardened senior commanders have been killed or injured fighting in Ukraine so he is resorting to sending second rate officers to the front who don’t last very long.”
Due to significant losses among competent commanders, Russia has been forced to send in retired Major General Pavel to oversee a special forces unit operating in Eastern Ukraine.
Pavel is a 67-year-old veteran of Russia's war in Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/7TvLx7Moxy
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) June 26, 2022
Pavel made his bones in the Soviet Union’s 1980s invasion of Afghanistan. He retired five years ago, and now reportedly washes his five daily meals down with a full bottle of vodka. According to the Daily Star, he required a custom-tailored uniform and two sets of body armor.
Even though Pavel seemingly enjoyed a gluttonous retirement, he had no choice but to heed Putin’s call, the source told the Daily Star.
“Putin is like a mafia boss who no one can refuse to obey,” the source said. “If a retired general gets a message from Putin saying mother Russia needs you to fight in Ukraine there is not much you can do. There is no escape from Russia thanks to the sanctions.”
Ukraine claims Russia has lost nearly 34,000 troops in the war, which began in February. At least nine generals and 55 colonels and lt. colonels have reportedly been killed so far.
Pavel may lose weight fast on the front lines. Russian troops are reportedly being forced to eat dogs because of a shortage of rations. The SBU, Kyiv’s security and intelligence agency, released a text message exchange earlier this month purportedly between two Russian soldiers. A soldier stationed near Crimea allegedly told his friend that he and other troops had eaten a Yorkshire terrier.
“It’s all f*****. [Ukrainians] are f****** beating us like kids,” the soldier allegedly wrote. “We eat dogs, there’s no food. Today we ate a Yorkie. A Yorkshire terrier.”
The SBU made a similar claim in March, alleging it had intercepted a phone call in which a Russian soldier told his family he and others ate local dogs.
“Are you eating OK at least?” he was asked.
“Not too bad,” the soldier allegedly replied. “We had alabay [a sheepdog breed found in Central Asia] yesterday. We wanted some meat.”