Who is Sorovikin, Russia’s new leader for the war in Ukraine? | war news between russia and ukraine

The Russian general was famous for his “absolute cruelty”, he served in Tajikistan and Chechnya, as well as in Syria.

President Vladimir Putin has appointed General Sergei Surovkin to lead the war effort in Ukraine amid a series of military setbacks and growing discontent in Russia over its neighbor’s invasion.

Saturday’s appointment follows the sacking of two top Russian military commanders as Kyiv regained territories lost to Russia in northeastern and southern Ukraine. It also comes as Moscow has been dealt a major blow after the partial destruction of the Kerch Bridge – the main link between Russia and Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Who is Soroviken?

The general, born in 1966 in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, was declared the commander of Russia’s southern military grouping in its war on Ukraine in June.

He was awarded the title of Hero of Russia and was awarded the Medal for his service in Syria in 2017, where he led the Russian military campaign as Commander of the Air Force.

He is known to be completely “ruthless” in the Russian military, according to a report (PDF) by the Jamestown Foundation, a US defense policy think tank.

“Sorovikin had an impressive career in the senior ranks of the General Staff and the Ministry of Defense after 2008, during a radical military reform that required ruthlessness,” the report read, adding that his “willingness to resolutely carry out any orders negated any potential questions about him.” “.

Surovikin was imprisoned twice. The first time was for six months after soldiers under his command killed three protesters in the Russian capital, Moscow, during the August 1991 coup that preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union. He was later released without trial. Four years later, he received a verdict – later overturned – for illegal arms trafficking.

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Most efficient

The general was accused of overseeing the heavy bombing that devastated most of the city of Aleppo in Syria, where Russia intervened on the side of Bashar al-Assad. in Report Published in October 2020, Human Rights Watch listed him as one of the leaders “who may bear command responsibility for abuses” during the 2019-2020 offensive on Syria’s Idlib.

In a rare public comment, Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner mercenary group, which has spread widely in Syria, was quoted as describing Sorovikin as a “legendary person”, by Live24 news agency. “Surovkin is the most efficient commander in the Russian army,” he added.

A series of crushing defeats

Russia was reconfiguring its forces in Ukraine while trying to stem the losses it had incurred as a result of the powerful Ukrainian counterattack.

Some observers believe that Sorovikin’s appointment indicates that Russia will focus its war efforts on a single region.

“It could be Luhansk, or Donetsk, or maybe in the south. What we’re seeing is a shrinkage in Russian operations,” said Alexander Votravers, of the Swiss Military Review.

Russian forces were driven out of much of the northeastern Kharkiv region in early September due to a Ukrainian counterattack that allowed Kiev to reclaim thousands of square kilometers of territory.

Russian forces also lost territory in the southern Kherson region as well as the Lyman transport hub in eastern Ukraine.

And a Kremlin-backed official announced in Kherson, Saturday, a partial evacuation of civilians from the southern province.

Kirill Strimosov told Russia’s state-run agency RIA Novosti that young children and their parents, as well as the elderly, may be moved to two regions in southern Russia in anticipation of a “difficult period” ahead for Kherson.

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On Friday, Moscow said its forces had captured land in the eastern Donetsk region, in its first claim to gains since the successful Kyiv counteroffensive that destabilized Moscow’s military campaign.

Donetsk, partly controlled by Kremlin-backed separatists for years, is a major prize for Russian forces, which launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

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