Desperate Putin hires evil butcher of Mauripol in bid to blitz Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has sacked the deputy general of the Russian army and replaced him with the so-called 'Butcher of Mariupol'.

Dmitry Bulgakov, 68, was relieved of his duties after a string of successful counter-attacks were launched by the Ukrainian forces.

He has served served in the role for 14 years.

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His replacement, Mikhail Mizintsev, has a fearsome reputation and rose to infamy over his role in the indiscriminate blitzing of Mariupol resulting in civilian casualties.

He is widely believed to have been behind orders to bomb the city's theatre and hospital, which have been labelled war crimes by the international community.

His controversial hiring has increased the tension surrounding the war, with Putin announcing a call up of reserve fighters two days ago. The Russian dictator also hinted he would be willing to use nuclear weapons.

Mizintsev is also alleged to have been behind some of the bombing campaigns in the Syrian civil war.

Prime Minister Liz Truss placed him on the UK's sanctions list on March 31 while she was foreign secretary.

Previously, the Foreign Office has described him as someone "known for using reprehensible tactics, including shelling civilian centres in both Aleppo in 2015-16 and now in Mariupol – where atrocities are being perpetrated against the Ukrainian people."

Despite his nickname, little is known about the career of Mizintsev.

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He is thought to have held wide range of administrative jobs dating back to the before the collapse of the Soviet Union but does not have combat experience.

Keir Giles, an expert on Russia from the Chatham House think tank, previously told the Washington Post that he was a "surprising figure to take the brunt of the blame for the attack on Mariupol, given his background."

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