‘Shrinking operation’: Russia names new Ukraine war commander | Russia-Ukraine war News

After weeks of defeat on the battlefield, Moscow appointed General Sergey Surovikin as sole leader of the faltering war in Ukraine.

Russia appoints a new general to lead the war against Ukraine after Moscow was defeated a series of military defeats that prompted rare criticism of the field commander.

Saturday’s announcement is Moscow’s third senior military appointment in a week’s time.

The change follows the reported layoffs earlier this week of the commanders of two of Russia’s five military regions, as their forces suffered a dramatic reversal in the northeast. and southern Ukraine in recent weeks.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that General Sergey Surovikin was appointed “commander of the Joint Forces in the fields of special military operations”, using the Kremlin’s term for the invasion of Ukraine.

According to the website of the Ministry of Defense, Surovikin, 55, was born in the Novosibirsk region of Siberia. He has led Russia’s Air and Space Defense Forces since 2017.

Surovikin has had experience fighting in the 1990s conflicts in Tajikistan and Chechnya and more recently in Syria, where Moscow intervened in 2015 on the side of Russia. Bashar al-Assad’s government. He is accused of overseeing a brutal bombardment that destroyed much of the city of Aleppo.

So far Surovikin has led “Southern” forces in Ukraine, according to a Defense Ministry report in July.

The name of his predecessor was never officially revealed, but some Russian media reported it as General Alexander Dvornikov – also a general of the Second Chechen war and commander of Russia in Syria.

‘Narrow operations’

Alexandre Vautravers, from the Swiss Military Review, notes that the beginnings of the Russian invasion did not take place under a unified command, as there were five different groups of troops, each of which commanded autonomous operations.

That will change under Surovikin’s leadership in the fight, he said.

Vautravers told Al Jazeera: “The reason there cannot be a unified command of all Russian forces is the distance and lack of information technology to bring together all the means and capabilities of command and control. .

“What we are seeing now is one person and one headquarters that will plan and direct the operation. But it is also a signal that from now on activity will focus on a specific area. It could be Luhansk, it could be Donetsk, it could be south. What we are seeing is a contraction of Russian activity.”

The decision to hand over wartime command to Surovikin – unusually public by Moscow – came after a series of heavy defeats by Russian troops in Ukraine.

Russian forces have put out of much of northeastern Kharkiv in early September by a Ukrainian counteroffensive that allowed Kyiv to recapture thousands of square kilometers of territory.

The Russian army also lost territory in male Kherson area as well as Lyman . Transport Center in eastern Ukraine.

‘A difficult period’

The failures have led to growing criticism of the military leadership, including Russia’s elite.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov called for shoot a top general Last week, while a senior lawmaker, Andrei Kartapolov, urged military officials to stop “lying” about the situation on the battlefield.

Moscow continued to suffer wartime losses.

On Saturday, a Kremlin-backed official in Ukraine’s Kherson region announced the partial evacuation of civilians from the southern province, one of four illegally annexed by Moscow last week.

Kirill Stremousov told Russia’s state agency RIA Novosti that young children and their parents, as well as the elderly, could be moved to two southern regions of Russia because Kherson is “getting ready for a difficult period.” “.

On Friday, Moscow said its forces had captured land in the eastern Donetsk region – the first claim of new gains since Kyiv’s successful counteroffensive that rocked its military campaign. Moscow.

Donetsk, partly controlled by Kremlin-backed separatists for many years, is a key solution for Russian forces, who sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.


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