Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the change of command of the “special military operation” in Ukraine. The invasion has been going on for a month and a half, and the change comes after the casualties of generals and high-ranking commanders. The new commander is Alexander Dvornikov, a general who has headed Russia’s Southern Military District since 2016 and played a notable role in the war in Syria.
According to the BBC, the Kremlin seeks, with the change in command, to centralize the coordination of the nearly 100 tactical battalions that are in Ukraine. The idea is for operations to be better thought out, and not ‘independent’, as has been the case in this first month and a half of the invasion.
Alexander Dvornikov is familiar with this type of confrontation having been prominent in the Syrian war, so Russia hopes that the general can unify the national army in order to make the offensives more effective.
During the Russian intervention in Syria, Dvornikov was the first commander of the Russian Armed Forces, sent by the Kremlin in 2015 to protect the Bashar al-Assad regime against the Islamic State and other opposition factions formed from the 2011 uprising. The war from Syria served as tests for the Russian Army.
According to data from the United Nations (UN), more than 350,000 people died in more than 11 years of civil war in Syria. Russia is not transparent about the number of losses its army has taken since the invasion of Ukraine. The latest official data, released on March 25, cites 1,351 dead among Russian fighters. Ukraine guarantees that this number is higher.
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