Colonel General Gennady Zhidko, 58, a leading Russian who briefly led the invasion Ukraine and was ultimately purged by Vladimir Putin, is dead from an unknown illness.
Russian news outlet Readovka reported that Zhidko died on August 16, 2023 of a ‘lengthy illness.”
According to Readvoka, “Today, August 16, after a long illness, the ex-deputy minister of defense, Colonel-General Gennady Zhidko, died. He was awarded the title of Hero of Russia.”
“During his lifetime, Zhidko held key positions in military structures. He served as deputy minister of defense, chief of staff of the grouping of troops in Syria, and commanded the Eastern Military District. He died at the age of 58.”
Russia’s Deputy Minister of Defense Gennady Zhidko has died at the age of 58
Window, balcony or tea? pic.twitter.com/QCs4UFblWk
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) August 16, 2023
Zhidko was ousted from his role in Ukraine in October 2022 – as commander of Putin’s ‘special military operation’ – after the failure to grab the city of Kharkiv.
He had been seen as in charge since April after taking over from ousted General Alexander Dvornikov, aka the ‘Butcher of Syria’.
The role led to Western sanctions against Zhidko.
Surovikin, who replaced him, was later demoted from the role by chief of the general staff Valery Gerasimov.
Surovikin remained his deputy but is believed to have been detained in June amid suspicion he knew of plans to stage a coup against Putin’s regime by Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.