Mon. 27 Jun 2022, 5:05am ET Benzinga News, Politics, Global, Media, General

Vladimir Putin has reportedly called on a retired 67-year-old army veteran to take command of his forces in Ukraine, as the faltering Russian invasion drags on into its fourth month.

What Happened: Putin has pulled up a military honcho who goes only by the name of General Pavel, as his dreams of winning Ukraine have left him 'scraping the barrel,' a senior intelligence source told the Daily Star.

See Also: Putin's Inner Circle Plotting Coup, Former CIA Official Says: 'It'll Happen All Of A Sudden And He'll Be Dead'

According to the publication, Pavel is said to scoff five meals a day, washed down with at least a liter of vodka. The hulking veteran served in Russia's bungled invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The move came as Putin is reportedly running out of generals amid the grueling war in Ukraine. Pavel is in charge of Russian special forces in eastern Ukraine as the former unit's commander was injured seriously in an artillery strike.

"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 ... who don't last very long," the Daily Star's source was quoted as saying.

The report pointed out that Pavel was living in Moscow after retiring almost five years ago but was ordered to return to the Russian forces last month by Putin.

"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," the source reportedly said.

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