November 29, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10344

Russian Campaign Calls For Reinstating General Savaged By Kadyrov

November 29, 2022
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 10344

After the fall of the strategic town of Liman to Ukrainian forces on October 1, 2022, the career of General Alexander Lapin appeared headed for oblivion. The head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov accused Lapin of acquiring his Hero of Russia medal under false pretenses, of failing to provide his forces with ammunition and means of communication and of cowardice because he presumably managed his forces from deep in the rear. Kadyrov concluded " If it were up to me, I would’ve demoted Lapin to a private, stripped him of his decorations, and sent him to the front line to redeem his shame with a machine gun." [1]

Kadyrov did not get his way in terms of such a draconian and humiliating punishment, but Lapin was given a three-week leave of absence and he was relieved of his command of the Russian army's Center Military District with responsibility for Luhansk and replaced by Andrei Mordvichev, reportedly a friend of Kadyrov. [2] As Lapin seemed headed for the exits, Kadyrov hurled further accusations upon him.[3]  Few expected to see Lapin back, but the agency, based in Russia's Urals, is mounting a concerted campaign for his reinstatement with a flurry of articles concentrated over a short time span. The articles that read like character references are designed to debunk Kadyrov's accusations and prove that Lapin is the man to conduct the defense of Luhansk against the expected Ukrainian offensive targeting that region.

MEMRI's report on's campaign on Lapin's behalf follows below:

Alexander Lapin (Source:

The Enemy Threatens Luhansk, Lapin To The Rescue

The ostensive reason behind the stepped-up press campaign was the end of Lapin's "medical leave" coupled with the threat of a Ukrainian attack on Lugansk.

The paper warned that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were beefing up their forces in the Luhansk area precisely at the time that Lapin was expected to return from his vacation. Ukraine was following the successful tactics that it had employed in order theaters of first degrading the Russian forces by denying them supplies. The outlet expected Lapin's reinstatement as Lapin was at the forefront of the fighting from the very beginning of the special operation in Ukraine. Soldiers compared Lapin with the legendary World War II commander Georgy Zhukov. As with Zhukov, "wherever Lapin is, there is victory." Accordingly, the fighters said that they were looking forward to their commander's return.[4]

In another article the paper reinforced the idea that Lapin was a contemporary Zhukov, moreover, as he was responsible for Russia's initial victories in Lugansk, he was thoroughly familiar with the theater.

"Colonel General Lapin understands his troops' capabilities quite well,"said Alexander Grigorenko, a former deputy of the Perm Krai Legislative Assembly, a commando and participant in the Ukraine special military operation. According to Grigorenko, this quality of Lapin's ensured the victories at the start of the SVO [Special Military Operation]."

"In my opinion, General Lapin is quite accomplished, as the CMD [Central Military District commander...The successes of the CMD troops in the spring and summer of 2022 are obvious: Svyatogorsk, Lysychansk and other captured settlements. There were, certainly, some mistakes made, as is the case with any commander, but there were no outright defeats, unlike that of the forces of the Western Military District [in the battle for Kyiv].Meanwhile, he knows the troops of his district and theater of military operations quite well, and, therefore, will be of good service as a commander at the front," vouched Grigorenko.

Grigorenko was also eager to counter Kadyrov's insinuation that Lapin was a coward, who stayed far away from the front.  Grigorenko’s reported that Lapin had traveled to the front line, which was then being shelled by the enemy, in order to personally convey the order to the battalion commander.

"General Lapin is clearly no coward and quite worthy of respect. Many [other generals] lead troops from the rear, while he regularly visits the front line. Meanwhile, he leads the troops quite skillfully and is not averse to communicating with soldiers. It’s typical of him to be tough when he insists on following orders. But for a general, it’s rather a positive characteristic, especially [if it manifests] in a difficult situation. Let’s remember Zhukov and his style," added the SVO participant.[5]

Reserve Army General Vladimir Boldyrev, Lapin's former commander, told that Lapin was qualified to lead the defense of Lugansk as "he is able of maintaining the defense of the LPR and will not give up and will stand to the end. There is no doubt about this. Now is the time to fight to the death. Lapin is quite capable of coping with this task," said Boldyrev.

According to Boldyrev "He is a trained general, very capable, strong-willed. Of all the current generals, he is the most powerful and currently needed military leader in this special operation, who is able to really fight and complete any task that will be assigned to him.[6]

Vladimir Boldyrev (Source:

Lapin's Solicitude For Those Serving Under Him

Contrary to Kadyrov's assertion that Lapin abandoned his troops and was a remote figure to them. cited an artillery battalion commander with the nom de guerre "Yantar":

"One soldier [at our location] had an appendicitis. General Lapin did not hesitate to order this serviceman to be loaded into his helicopter and taken to the nearest medical facility. He had an operation. I believe that this is a true manifestation of the commander’s concern for a subordinate soldier."[7]

Lapin concerned himself with the fate of his subordinates. When a commander of an engineering regiment, was seriously wounded, he was rescued. Lapin got on the line to patrons, in order to secure the best prosthetics, that would allow the wounded commander to live a decent life following his recuperation.[8]

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Egorchev recounted how Alexander Lapin, helped one of the fighters visit his sick mother during the service. Yegorchev added that he had served under Lapin for several years and described the general as a very fair commander, who commanded universal respect. "Nothing but good things to say about him. Everyone loved him."[9]

Lapin's humanity extended to the civilian population in Donbass and Ukraine. He frequently sent food in his personal car to help the hungry and sometimes contributed his own rations.[10]

Lapin A Hands-On Commander

Nothing was more ridiculous than the charge that Lapin was remote from his troops; they regarded him as a father figure. One officer commented: "He is the only commander who, from the first days of the Special Military Operation has been here at the front line: he drove by, looked at what was happening at the checkpoints, at the front line, whether everyone was in position, how the units were working. Now more than half of the personnel of our group have been awarded state and departmental awards, in other districts this figure is lower, because our commander knows and sees the work of each soldier. Yes, and the award ceremonies themselves are conducted there, 'at the front', to the accompaniment of enemy artillery and the rumble of aircraft.[11]

Another soldier recalled "When we were brought in, the previous campaigners were wearing torn uniforms. Under him [Lapin], at least some of the soldiers began to look decent. And the food has improved. [He is] Strict. Pure warrior. I don’t even remember him smiling at some points. "According to Vladimir Boldyrev, strict attention to discipline characterizes Lapin. "Discipline... That's what the army is for. Without discipline, this is not an army, but a mess."[12]

According to Reserve Lieutenant General, and State Duma Defense Committee Andrei Gurulev, Lapin is distinguished by the precise fulfillment of his goals. "We met Alexander Pavlovich Lapin in 2010. I was the chief of staff, he was the deputy commander of the 58th Army. The commander of the army was Lieutenant General Andrei Valerievich Kartapolov. Lapin is extremely performance oriented, intelligent, and very competent... He is an exceptional stickler for to every detail... If Lapin was set a task, he fulfills it. Nothing more, nothing less.".

Gurulev recalled Lapin's performance in Syria "The comrades in Syria who were with him and were close spoke rather warmly about him as a person who is extremely brave, courageous and able to make decisions.”

Andrei Gurulev (Source:

Yantar spoke of Lapin's relations with his troops and noted that the general was like a father to his soldiers.

"If it wouldn’t be so, he wouldn’t understand what was happening on the battlefield, what his subordinates wanted, strived for, and thought about. He conveyed his thought to the soldiers, which was later spread throughout the trenches. The guys pass on his words [with the conviction] that our commander, our father, is with us.

Lapin’s meticulous approach to planning combat missions facilitated victories during the liberation of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics," said Yantar, "His presence and attitude towards the soldiers played a large role in the successful performance of the general's units."[13]

When Yantar's battle group entered the Luhansk People’s Republic, all actions were very carefully planned [by Lapin]. One could say that "everything (i.e., all tasks) was pre-chewed and put in the [soldiers’] mouths... This is truly a combat general. One strives to serve alongside such a man," said Yantar.

"Colonel General Lapin takes quite a reverent attitude towards a soldier. He was promoting the motto that taking care of a soldier is the highest moral duty of every commander to all his subordinates. All his subordinates live according to this principle. I believe it’s the right principle because it’s a soldier, who forges victory.”[14]

Boldyrev added: . "He is distinguished by the highest responsibility. It never needs to be checked. I was confident that he would complete any given task. I know him very well. This is a worthy general, a very worthy one. He is highly prepared, resolute, courageous, strong-willed. A real general. He is one of the most capable generals who, at least till now, have served at the district commander level"[15], also tried to deal with the elephant in the room – wouldn't a return of Lapin be considered a slap in the face to Ramzan Kadyrov and Yevgeny Prigozhin who had seemingly taken Lapin's scalp recently? The outlet enlisted the expert opinion of Captain Vladimir Yeranosyan of the Bureau of Military-Political Analysis, candidate of political science.

"I think that Colonel General Alexander Lapin should return. Firstly, it's okay that there are disputes amongst the generals. All friction in the general's environment is for the best. There are changes. Then everyone - [Head of Chechnya Ramzan] Kadyrov, [Founder of Wagner PMC Yevgeny] Prigozhin, [Head of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces Valery] Gerasimov will drink a cup celebrating a common victory," Yeranosyan said. He compared the current argument to the situation that prevailed prior to the Russian counteroffensive at Stalingrad. Josef Stalin heard the different opinions before giving the ultimate go ahead and although General Volsky opposed the plan, he was not removed and his troops performed their assigned task. [16]

The fate of this campaign for Lapin's reinstatement is unclear, but there are at least two takeaways from this so far unfettered glorification of Lapin. First, Lapin still has friends in high places, who feel that he has been treated unfairly. Secondly, the campaign can also be seen as pushback against the growing influence of Kadyrov and Prigozhin. If Lapin was reinstated this would surely take them down a peg.


[1], October 1, 2022.

[2], October 30, 2022.

[3], October 28, 2022.

[4] November 20, 2022,

[5], November 18, 2022.

[6], November 21, 2022.

[7], November 11, 2022.

[8], October 26, 2022.

[9], November 21, 2022.

[10], October 26, 2022.

[11], October 26, 2022.

[12], November 15, 2022.

[13], November 18, 2022.

[14], November 18, 2022.

[15], November 15, 2022.

[16], November 24, 2022.

Share this Report: