WhatsApp Channel Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now

The Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army was appointed commander-in-chief of the Russian army invading Ukraine

Profile photo: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, and Russian Armed Forces Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov listen to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. (27 February 2022)
Profile photo: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, and Russian Armed Forces Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov listen to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. (27 February 2022)

The appointment of the chief of the general staff of the Russian army on Wednesday (January 11) as the commander-in-chief of the Russian army in Ukraine clearly reflects the Kremlin’s dissatisfaction with the current leadership of the Russian army and the lack of performance of the military.

The chief of the general staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, has been appointed commander-in-chief of the joint forces in the new Ukrainian region, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The previous commander-in-chief, General Sergei Surovikin, was demoted to Grassimo’s deputy, with two more generals as deputies.

The personnel change was officially ordered by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin, showing that he still believes in his top echelons of the Russian military. These top generals have been widely criticized for the poor record of the Russian army.

It also seems to indicate that Moscow has acknowledged deficiencies during what Putin calls a “special military operation.”

Announcing the appointment of Gerasimov as commander-in-chief, the Russian Defense Ministry said the move was aimed at improving coordination between the different units fighting in Ukraine.

“The increase in the rank of the commander-in-chief is due to the increase in the number of tasks to be completed in the implementation of the special military operation, and it is necessary to integrate the various services and arms of the Russian army and make them more closely coordinated, with the aim of improving the quality of various types of support and the efficiency of command of regional joint forces,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

MUST READ: ☞  US Aid Bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan: $95 Billion Bipartisan Support Amidst Global Tensions

Surovikin was appointed commander-in-chief last October, and he is credited with strengthening coordination and control of the Russian forces invading Ukraine. His demote to number two commander shows that Putin, although not very satisfied with his performance, still believes in the professionalism of the general.

Shortly after Surovikin took office in October, the Russian army, under the pressure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, withdrew from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, dealing a heavy blow to the Kremlin. The city of Kherson is the only state capital occupied by Russian troops since the invasion on February 24 last year. Just weeks before the withdrawal of Russian troops, Moscow announced the annexation of Ukraine’s Kherson region.

Gerasimov was widely blamed for Moscow’s military setbacks. Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff, is in charge of military strategic planning and is regarded as the chief architect of Russia’s combat operations in Ukraine.

His critics include Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman close to Putin. Prigozhin’s military contracting company, the Wagner Group, is playing an increasingly prominent role in the war. He accused Gerasimov of incompetence and blamed him for a series of setbacks by the Russian army.

Chechen chief Ramzan Kadyrov has made similar critical remarks. Kadyrov sent troops from the Chechen region to fight in Ukraine. He has repeatedly urged the Kremlin to escalate the conflict.

Prigozhin and Kadyrov’s critical tone of Gerasimov rose sharply in September last year. At that time, after a rapid counteroffensive by the Ukrainian army, the Russian army was forced to withdraw from the Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine.

MUST READ: ☞  The Chinese reconnaissance balloon entered the sky over the United States and caused a backlash from lawmakers from both parties. Republicans shouted: Shoot it down!

Kadyrov specifically accused Gerasimov of harboring General Alexander Lapin under his wing. Lapin is the commander of the Russian army who was withdrawn from the Kharkiv region.

Despite such criticism, Rapin was promoted to chief of staff of the ground forces earlier this week. Mr. Lapin’s promotion and Gerasimov’s new post seem to send a signal that Prigozhin and Kadyrov, despite their increasing public moves, have little influence over the Kremlin’s decisions.

Mr. Putin also reprimanded Denis Manturov, the deputy prime minister in charge of aviation and other high-tech industries, in a televised speech Wednesday.

In a televised cabinet videoconference, Putin asked Manturov to act quickly to sign a new contract for the aircraft. When Manturov tried to justify his performance, Putin interrupted him.

When Manturov said he would try to make sure things got done in the first quarter, Putin angrily interjected that it should be done within a month. “You can’t try to do your best, you have to get it done within a month, you can’t go beyond,” Mr. Putin said.

(This article is based on an Associated Press report from Moscow.)

Leave a Comment

WhatsApp Channel Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now