British intelligence: the replacement of the commander in Ukraine indicates the failures of the Kremlin

The reshuffle in the top ranks of the leadership of the Russian army shows that the Kremlin is aware of the failed position of the military company in Ukraine, says in the daily report of the British Ministry of Defence.

On Wednesday, January 11, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu once again replaced the commander of the joint group of troops in Ukraine. Instead of Sergei Surovikin, who was appointed to this position only three months ago, Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff, personally began to direct the actions of the army.

“The appointment of the Chief of the General Staff as commander of the theater of operations is an indication of the growing seriousness of the situation facing Russia and a clear recognition that the campaign is not in line with Russia’s strategic goals,” British intelligence said in a statement.

At the same time, Surovikin was demoted to deputy commander of the group.

The reshuffle will cause extreme discontent in the ranks of ultra-nationalists and “military correspondents” who blamed Gerasimov for military failures, British intelligence notes. At the same time, the downgraded Surovikin enjoyed their wide support and now his authority will almost certainly be significantly reduced, the report says.

Surovikin, 55, took over the leadership of the group in Ukraine in early October, a month after a series of major defeats in which the army abandoned the entire Kharkiv region. The series of failures continued after his appointment: it was under Surovikin that Russia retreated from Kherson.

Despite this, in December 2022, President Vladimir Putin awarded Surovikin the Order of St. George III degree.

Gerasimov is already the fourth commander of the group since the beginning of the war. In April, the leadership of military operations was entrusted to General Alexander Dvornikov, BBC sources said. After him, the Russian grouping of troops in Ukraine was headed by Deputy Defense Minister Gennady Zhidko, the Conflict Intelligence Team investigators wrote, citing their sources.

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