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Russia appoints new commander for its army in Ukraine after repeated setbacks

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General Sergey Surovikin was appointed “Commander of the Joint Grouping of Forces in the field of special military operation”.

India Today Web Desk

New Delhi,UPDATED: Oct 8, 2022 9:41 PM IST

By India Today Web Desk: After major setbacks that led to criticism of its military leadership, Russia on Saturday appointed General Sergey Surovikin, the new general to lead Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine. special military operation”, using the Kremlin’s term for the offensive.

The development comes a day after Russia fired the commander of the Eastern Military District, Colonel General Alexander Chaiko. Chailo’s resignation was reported as Russian forces continue to lose ground in northeastern Ukraine and Kiev’s recapture of the strategic center of Lyman, in the Donetsk region, last month.

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According to a Russian military website, Surovikin, 55, has combat experience in the 1990s conflicts in Tajikistan and Chechnya. He was also part of Moscow’s 2015 intervention in Syria. A previous Defense Ministry report stated that Surovikin was leading “South” forces in Ukraine.

The decision was announced after the Russian military faced huge criticism after it lost thousands of square kilometers last month in Ukraine’s counter-offensive to retake the northeastern region of Kharkov.

While Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov wanted to sack Russia’s top leadership, a senior lawmaker urged army personnel to stop “lying” about the situation on the battlefield.

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Even in September, the Deputy Defense Minister in charge of logistics, General Dmitri Bulgakov, was replaced by Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev. Bulgakov was reportedly accused by the European Union of orchestrating a siege on the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

The state news agency RIA had also reported that the commander of the Black Sea fleet had been fired after a series of setbacks faced by the Russian military, including the sinking of its lead warship and the loss of as many as eight combat aircraft.

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