Since Sergey Surovikin, also known as “General Armageddon,” is essentially demoted as a result of the action, Valery Gerasimov is now directly responsible for the campaign’s outcome.
After months of failures on the battlefield, Russia ordered its top general to take charge of its invasion of Ukraine in the greatest shake-up of its military command structure yet.
The Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov has been named as the overall commander of forces for what Moscow refers to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday.
The action effectively demoted General Sergey Surovikin, known in the Russian media as “General Armageddon” for his alleged savagery, and made Gerasimov fully responsible for the outcome of the battle.
According to a ministry statement, “the improvement of the quality… and effectiveness of the management of Russian forces” is related to “the development in the scale of tasks” and “the necessity to organize closer interaction between different branches of the armed forces.”
After only three months on the post, Surovikin was demoted, and he now serves as Gerasimov’s deputy alongside two other generals, Oleg Salyukov and Alexey Kim.
Days after Surovikin’s nomination, the Russian army signaled a strategic shift by launching a barrage of drone and missile attacks on targets in Ukrainian infrastructure, leading to power outages and water shortages in numerous places.
Surovikin was recognized for improving coordination and reinforcing control during his brief tenure as the commander of the troops in Ukraine.
However, he also disclosed that in November, Russian soldiers would leave Kherson, one of the biggest and most significant cities they had taken during the battle. His promotion served as a reminder that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not entirely pleased with his work.
“War is expanding,”
The decision was made, according to political analyst Dmitry Trenin of Moscow, to “streamline the chain of command in the Ukraine operation.”
“Gerasimow’s hiring indicates that the operation has risen in prominence and that its scope may go beyond what is now the case. Trenin said Al Jazeera, “That is really important.
“The conflict is getting bigger and riskier, and I believe this is beyond the purview of a field commander,” the speaker said. The general commander of the Russian armed forces is now in charge of this.
The pro-war commentators in Russia were unimpressed.
One well-known military blogger who goes by the moniker Rybar and writes on the Telegram messaging platform once said, “The sum does not alter only by moving the places of its pieces.”
He claimed that Surovikin, a veteran of Russian operations in Chechnya and Syria, was being blamed for a string of recent military failures, including a Ukrainian attack on a Russian barracks in the town of Makiivka that resulted in the deaths of at least 89 Russian soldiers over the holiday season, including conscripts.
Surovikin was only appointed Russia’s top field commander in Ukraine last October, following a wave of Ukrainian offensives that reversed the tide of the conflict and brought attention to the ineffectiveness of Russian forces non terms of morale, equipment, and training.