On Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Minister, Valery Gerasimov, was appointed commander-in-chief of Russian forces in Ukraine. It happens only three months after General Sergei Surovikin was given the same role.
The purpose of the latest change in command is to enhance efficiency in handling military operations in Ukraine, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Gerasimov’s promotion was criticized by Igor Girkin, a Russian ultra-nationalist who had previously led separatists in Donetsk. Gherkin is now one of the most popular nationalist military bloggers.
– I do not consider General Surovikin, with whom I have met many times, a strategic or tactical genius, but here we are talking about a person who has at least the necessary combat experience and is not a complete fool, who is second in command, says Girkin to the Russians RTVI provided by Danish TV2.
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– very low
Girkin believes there will be no major changes on the front lines in Ukraine with Gerasimov as Commander-in-Chief, but:
– I am sure that the decisions that Gerasimov will make will correspond to his spiritual level, which I consider to be very low, says Girkin.
Tor Bokvall, senior researcher at the Norwegian Defense Research Institute, does not believe that the rotation will have a significant impact on the course of the war.
– I do not think that it is decisive for the war that the Russian general leads as commander-in-chief, he told NTB.
He claimed to be in control
Although Surovikin lost the top post, he continued as one of Gerasimov’s second-in-command.
Both Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu have received a lot of criticism from Russian military bloggers.
The change of government in the military leadership occurs at the same time that Wagner’s private mercenary group appears to have acquired a larger role in the Russian war. The Wagner Group has been very active in the fighting now taking place in eastern Ukraine. On Friday, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that its forces had taken control of the town of Solidar, where fighting has raged recently.
However, Ukraine denied that Russia had taken control of the city.
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