Selection of new Russian commander is a sign of Ukraine campaign woes, UK officials say


The Kremlin’s decision to appoint Army Gen. Alexander Dvornikov as commander of the war in Ukraine is an indication of Russia’s inability to coordinate military activity since the invasion in late February, British military intelligence said Wednesday.

The assignment of Gen. Dvornikov in the top spot represents an attempt by Moscow to centralize command and control of the invasion forces, UK military officials said in a Twitter message. Previously the invasion had been overseen by defense officials in Moscow with no single overall commander in the field.

Like many senior Russian generals, he had previously had military command experience in Syria where Moscow has backed  President Bashar Assad since the start of the brutal civil war in 2011. He was accused of using Russian air superiority in Syria to indiscriminately bomb urban centers to terrorize civilians and pressure rebel groups.

Gen. Dvornikov’s selection demonstrates how determined Ukrainian resistance and ineffective planning have forced Russian President Vladimir Putin to reassess operations and focus on the disputed Donbas region, British officials said.


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