Russian lieutenant general commanded ‘more dangerous’ Ukraine war | Russo-Ukrainian War
The move puts Valery Gerasimov directly responsible for the fate of the operation as Sergey Surovikin, nicknamed ‘General Armageddon’, is effectively demoted.
Russia has put its top general in charge of the invasion of Ukraine in the biggest-ever overhaul of the military command structure after months of defeat on the battlefield.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday that Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has appointed Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov as the overall commander of the force for what Moscow calls “special military operations” in Ukraine.
This move not only made Gerasimov directly responsible for the fate of the operation, but also demoted General Sergey Surovikin, who was nicknamed “General Armageddon” by the Russian media for his famous ruthlessness. .
“The increase in leadership levels of military operations is particularly related to the expansion of the mission scale … the need to organize closer communication between the different branches of the armed forces, and to enhance the quality … and the effectiveness of the Russian management of the force, a ministry statement said.
Surovikin was demoted later only three months on the joband he became Gerasimov’s deputy along with two other generals – Oleg Salyukov and Alexey Kim.
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.
During his brief time overseeing the military in Ukraine, Surovikin is credited with increasing coordination and consolidating control.
But he also announced a November withdrawal from Kherson, one of the largest and most important cities that Russian forces had captured during the conflict. His demotion signaled that the Russians President Putin not completely satisfied with his performance.
‘War is getting bigger’
Dmitry Trenin, a Moscow-based political analyst, said the move was made to “streamline the chain of command during the Ukraine campaign”.
“The appointment of Gerasimov means that the importance of the operation has increased and the scope of the activity can extend beyond what we see today. That makes a lot of sense,” Trenin told Al Jazeera.
“The war is getting bigger, more dangerous, and I think this is beyond a field commander. This is now in the hands of the commander-in-chief of the Russian armed forces.”
Russia’s pro-war commentators were unimpressed.
“The amount does not change just by changing the location of its parts,” wrote a prominent military blogger who posted on the Telegram messaging app Rybar.
He said Surovikin, a veteran of Russia’s campaigns in Chechnya and Syria, had become a fallen because of a series of recent defeats by the Russian military, including Ukraine’s attack on Russian barracks. in the town of Makiivka. killed at least 89 Russian soldiersincluding conscripts, during the New Year period.
Surovikin was appointed Russia’s top battlefield commander in Ukraine only last October after a series of Ukrainian attacks turned the tide of the war and drew attention to training. equipment and poor morale of the Russian forces.