Russia changes commander of the group of troops of the special military operation

The united group of troops of the special military operation in Ukraine now has a new commander — Valery Gerasimov, who currently serves as the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Defence Minister of the Russian federation Sergei Shoigu appointed Gerasimov for the position of the Commander of the troops of the special military operation.

"On January 11, 2023, the Defence Minister of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, made new appointments to command the special military operation,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Army General Sergei Surovikin has thus been dismissed from the position. Surovikin was appointed on October 8.

General Surovikin will now serve as Gerasimov's deputy.

Valery Gerasimov is an Army General, the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, First Deputy Minister of Defence. In 2015, Gerasimov organised the Russian operation in Syria. In 2016, he received the highest state award — the title of Hero of Russia for courage and heroism.

Representatives for the Defence Ministry told reporters on January 11 that changes in the command of the special military operation was associated with an expansion of the scale of tasks, as well as with the need to ensure closer interaction between the Russian Armed Forces, increase the efficiency of command and control of their groups, as well as improve the quality of all types of support.

Gerasimov headed the General Staff for more than ten years

Valery Gerasimov served as the head of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces since November 9, 2012, acting as First Deputy Defence Minister.

Gerasimov was born in 1955 in Kazan. In 1977 he graduated from the Kazan Higher Tank Command School, in 1987 — from the Military Academy of Armored Forces named after Marshal Malinovsky, and ten years later — the Military Academy of the General Staff.

General 'Armageddon' Surovikin goes one step down

General "Armageddon" Surovikin commanded the special operation before today's appointment. Surovikin will now serve as Gerasimov's deputy.

In accordance with Sergei Shoigu's order, the special military operation command now includes:

  • Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces General of the Army Sergei Surovikin,
  • Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces General of the Army Oleg Salyukov,
  • Deputy Chief of the General Staff Colonel General Alexei Kim.

All of them were appointed deputies of the new commander of the united group — Valery Gerasimov.

Sergey Surovikin, whom military correspondents and the media dubbed as "General Armageddon", was appointed to the position of the commander of the troops of the zone of the special military operation on October 8.

During Surovikin's command, Russia launched massive attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure. The Russian forces started conducting such attacks regularly after Ukraine arranged a terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge in October 2022.

In late December, Yevgeny Enin, First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, said that as many as 702 objects of critical infrastructure facilities were damaged as a result of Russia's retaliation attacks. In total, more than 35,000 objects were destroyed and — gas pipelines, electrical substations and bridges.

In November 2022, Surovikin announced the need to withdraw the Russian troops from Kherson beyond the Dnieper River.

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Author`s name Petr Ernilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov
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