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Friday, March 24, 2023

Sergei Surovikin was dismissed as commander of the Ukrainian invasion force.

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President Vladimir Putin dismissed Russia’s commander-in-chief in Ukraine three months after his appointment. Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov has been appointed to lead what Russia calls a “military special operation” against its neighbor. He will replace Sergei Surovikin, who has overseen Moscow’s brutal attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Gen Surovikin – now his deputy – has been dubbed “General Armageddon” for his brutal tactics in previous wars, including Russia’s operations in Syria. Shortly after he was appointed to lead the operation in October, Russia began its campaign to destroy Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leaving millions of Ukrainian civilians without heat or power for extended periods in the depths of winter. He also oversaw Russia’s withdrawal from the city of Kherson – a major success for the Ukrainians.

Some of Russia’s hawkish military bloggers, who support the war but frequently criticize the way it is being carried out, have been highly critical of Russia’s military leadership, including the new head of the special operation, Gen Gerasimov. Wednesday’s announcement comes as fighting continues in Soledar in eastern Ukraine. Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group has taken full credit for “storming” it. On Tuesday night, the group’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said his forces were in full control of Soledar. However, on Wednesday the Russian defense ministry released a statement appearing to contradict his claim – or that only Wagner group troops were involved.

Zelensky said that,”Terrorist states and their propaganda are trying to pretend that they have achieved some degree of success in Soledar but the fighting continues.” He also added“We are doing everything day in and day out to strengthen Ukraine’s defense, Our potential is growing.”

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