Speed Reads

meet the new boss

Russia appoints new general to oversee Ukraine invasion

Russia has appointed Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, who commands Russia's southern military district and "has a lot of experience" from "Russian operations in Syria," to oversee the war in Ukraine, a Western official said Friday, according to BBC.

The Russian intervention in Syria was notoriously brutal, and foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal said Dvornikov's appointment likely signals an "expansion" of Russia's "terror campaign" against Ukraine.

This reorganization comes after Russia's military withdrew from the Kyiv region, having failed to take the capital. Observers expect these Russian units to be redeployed to eastern Ukraine.  

Prior to Dvornikov's appointment, Western officials reportedly believed there was no single battlefield commander overseeing the Russian invasion. The New York Times reported late last month on the intelligence community's consensus that "the men making decisions are far from the fight, back in Moscow: Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu; Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the general staff of the Russian military; and even President Vladimir V. Putin."

Several Russian generals have been killed on the front lines as they attempted to untangle tactical and logistical problems that arose due to the lack of proper coordination.