Three months after being put in his position, Russia’s senior commander in Ukraine has been removed from his post by President Vladimir Putin.
The position of leading what Russia refers to as its “special military operation” against its neighbor has been given to Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff. (Also Read: The key Differences Between the Biden and Trump Classified Document Scandals)
He takes over for Sergei Surovikin, who was in charge of supervising the violent strikes that Moscow launched against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
The reorganization comes at a time when Russian forces are claiming to be gaining ground in eastern Ukraine after suffering many months’ worth of defeats.
The longest-serving Russian chief of general staff in the post-Soviet era is now Gen. Gerasimov, who has been in his current position since the year 2012.
Because of his ruthless strategies in prior conflicts, notably Russia‘s actions in Syria, General Surovikin, who is currently his deputy, has been given the nickname “General Armageddon.”
In October, not long after he was given the responsibility of leading the operation, Russia launched its assault to damage Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. As a result, millions of Ukrainian residents were left without heat or power for extended periods throughout the harsh winter months. Additionally, under his direction, the Russian forces withdrew from the city of Kherson, which was a significant victory for the Ukrainians.
According to statements made by Russia’s Ministry of Defense, the decision to replace General Surovikin was made in order to facilitate “closer contact between different departments of the armed forces and improve the quality and effectiveness of the management of Russian troops.“
However, the move is being interpreted by others as an indication that he may have acquired an excessive amount of power.
“As the unified commander in Ukraine, Surovikin was becoming very strong,” noted military analyst Rob Lee on Twitter. “He was certainly bypassing [Russian Defense Minister Sergei] Shoigu and Gerasimov when talking to Putin.”
Some of Russia’s more hardline military bloggers, who are in favor of the conflict but are frequently critical of the way it is being fought, have been extremely critical of Russia’s military leadership, including the new head of the special operation, General Gerasimov. These bloggers support the war but frequently criticize the way it is being fought.
The news was made on Wednesday as fighting is still going on in Soledar, which is located in eastern Ukraine.
It is possible that the fall of Soledar will assist Russian troops in their assault on the strategic city of Bakhmut, which is located approximately 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to the south-west. This is because the fall of Soledar will provide the Russian troops with a secure artillery position that is within range of the city.
In addition, Soledar possesses extensive salt mines that can be utilized for the stationing of troops and the storage of equipment while remaining safe from attack by Ukrainian missiles.
The mercenary Wagner Group from Russia has claimed full credit for “storming” the building.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the commander of the group, stated on Tuesday evening that his soldiers had full control of Soledar. On the other hand, the Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement on Wednesday that seemed to contradict his assertion, which stated that only Wagner group forces were involved.
Because of this, Mr. Prigozhin reiterated the remark on Wednesday evening. In a brief statement that he posted on Telegram, he boasted that his mercenaries had been responsible for the deaths of approximately 500 pro-Ukraine fighters. According to what he wrote, “the entire city is littered with the dead of Ukrainian soldiers.” [Citation needed]
The apparent disparities provide evidence that there are rifts in the leadership of Russia’s armed forces, particularly between the Wagner Group and the defense ministry.
On the other hand, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine disputed that the city had been captured.
During his nightly address on Wednesday, Mr. Zelensky stated that “the terrorist state and its propagandists are trying to portray” that they have won some achievements in Soledar, but that “the war continues.”
“We spare not a single day in our efforts to bolster the defensive capabilities of the Ukrainian nation. Our potential is continuously expanding “he added. (Also Read: Will the Metaverse be Your New Workplace?)