Russia Replaces Its Top Military Commander In Ukraine Again
Russia has once again replaced its top commander in Ukraine, putting military chief of staff Valery Gerasimov in charge of the country’s forces in the conflict, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
“Army General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, has been appointed Commander of the Joint Army Group (Force),” the ministry said.
Sergei Surovikin, who has commanded Russian forces in Ukraine for the past three months, will become Gerasimov’s deputy.
According to the statement, Surovikin will work alongside two other generals, Oleg Salyukov and Alexei Kim.
“The increase in the leadership level of special operations is related to the expansion of the scale of the tasks at hand and the need to organize closer interaction between militaries,” the ministry said.
One of the main Russian Telegram channels backing the attack, Rybar, was skeptical about whether the switch would give Moscow’s military more to show after the lengthy campaign.
“Moving the ingredients around does not change the total amount,” Rybar said on messaging app Telegram, adding “we want to believe in a miracle in the 11th month of the special campaign.” .”
Surovikin, a notoriously ruthless ex-soldier, was tasked with turning the tide in Ukraine in October when the Russian army faced a series of defeats on the battlefield.
Two days after Surovikin was nominated, the Russian military signaled a change of strategy by launching a wave of drone and missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure targets – causing power outages and water outages in some cities.
Just about a month after his appointment, Russia withdrew from the southern city of Kherson, the only regional capital it held.
The front line has been stable globally since then.
Moscow’s forces are also leading a protracted and bloody battle in the east around Bakhmut and Soledar, where the situation remained unclear as of Wednesday.
Russian mercenary group Wagner claims control of the gateway town of Soledar, while the Kremlin warns against claiming victory anytime soon.
Rybar said that Surovikin’s results were “controversial” and that any immediate success – including a potential victory in Soledar – would now be credited to “new old commander” Gerasimov.
“Only time will tell” whether the “unsinkable” general Gerasimov will be demoted if Russia suffers new setbacks, he said.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)
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