In the most recent reorganization of Moscow’s military hierarchy, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu named Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov to direct the military campaign in Ukraine on Wednesday.
Gerasimov, like Shoigu, has come under fire from hawkish military bloggers in Russia for several military failures and Moscow’s failure to gain victory in a campaign that was supposed to be over in a short period of time.
The defence ministry announced that Gerasimov had been named by Shoigu as the combined forces group’s commander for the “special military operation” in Ukraine. It is the top post for Russian generals on the battlefield.
Sergey Surovikin, dubbed “General Armageddon” by the Russian media for his alleged brutality, was just recently given total control of Ukraine operations by Russia after a series of counteroffensives by Ukrainian forces that changed the course of the fight.
The defense ministry announced that Surovikin would continue to serve as Gerasimov’s deputy.
More than 10 months into a conflict that has seen tens of thousands of soldiers on both sides as well as Ukrainian citizens dead, it said the modifications are intended to boost the efficacy of military operations in Ukraine.
According to a statement from the ministry, “the improvement of the quality… and effectiveness of the management of Russian forces” is linked to “the development in the scale of missions… the necessity to organize tighter interaction between different branches of the armed forces.”