Home » Russia changes top officer in Ukraine. Who is Valery Gerasimov? – National
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Russia changes top officer in Ukraine. Who is Valery Gerasimov? – National

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu appointed Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov on Wednesday to oversee Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine in the latest shake-up of Moscow’s military leadership.

Shoigu appointed Gerasimov as commander of the combined forces group for Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, the defense ministry said in a statement.

Russia had promoted Sergey Surovikin, nicknamed “General Armageddon” by the Russian media for his reputed ruthlessness, to be its top battlefield commander only last October following a series of Ukrainian counter-offensives that turned the tide of the conflict.

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Surovikin will remain as a deputy of Gerasimov, the defense ministry said.

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It said the changes were designed to increase the effectiveness of managing military operations in Ukraine, more than 10 months into the campaign.

Gerasimov, like Shoigu, has faced sharp criticism from pro-war military bloggers for Russia’s multiple setbacks on the battlefield and failure to secure victory in a campaign the Kremlin had expected to take just a short time.


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Russian and Ukrainian forces were engaged in intense fighting on Wednesday over the town of Soledar in eastern Ukraine, a stepping stone in Moscow’s push to capture the entire Donbas region. The Russians appeared to have the upper hand.


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