Russia’s Defense Ministry on Saturday named Air Force General Sergei Surovykin as the overall commander of Russian forces fighting in Ukraine. This is Moscow’s third senior military appointment in a week. News from Reuters.
Surovykin previously led Russian forces in Syria.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that General Surovykin will lead the army and the war in the southern part of Ukraine and the Donbas region. This decision was taken by the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Sergei Shoigu, according to the ministry’s statement.
Surovykin, a 55-year-old war veteran, has led Russia’s Air and Space Forces since 2017. According to the ministry’s website, he led a Guards division during Moscow’s war against Islamist rebels in Chechnya in 2004, and in 2017 he was awarded the title of Hero of Russia for his heroic role in the military operation in Syria.
The change follows reports earlier this week of the dismissal of the commanders of two of Russia’s five military regions. Because Russian forces have suffered a series of dramatic shifts in northeastern and southern Ukraine in recent weeks.
British military intelligence said in April that General Alexander Dvornikov had been appointed to take charge of Russian forces in Ukraine. But Moscow itself has not clarified who is in overall military command of the operation.
General Surovykin took a very strict approach to military operations and was religious in his private life as an Orthodox Christian. For this reason, he is called ‘General Armageddon’ by his colleagues. Armageddon is the final battle between good and evil at the end of the universe described in the Bible.