“Reality show”: in the United States, the change of commander of the RF Armed Forces in Ukraine was explained by political strife and discord in the Ministry of Defense
Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, who took command of Russian forces in Ukraine on 11 January, removed the previous commander, Sergei Surovikin, from his post due to dissatisfaction with his slow and “passive” defensive strategy. According to The New York Times, Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu have proposed a withdrawal of the “over-aggressive”, citing US and European officials.
“It’s like a reality show. In my opinion, it’s more important that the Russians still haven’t figured out exactly how they want to command the troops, and I think the discord between the Russian commanders runs deep.” is,” said Colin Kahl, deputy secretary of defense for policy.
The Russian military’s failures are due to the Department of Defense’s lack of serious training and operational experience, believes Frederick Hodges, former commander of US forces in Europe: “When you get into a real war like Ukraine, all of their Deficiencies are immediately exposed.
By doing so, US military and officials say Surovikin strengthened Russia’s precarious position in Ukraine, particularly in the south. He insisted that the troops leave Kherson and led a retreat that minimized Russian military casualties. He then focused his forces on what the US military calls “defense in depth”. His defensive initiatives raised fears in Washington that Russia could face a Ukrainian counter-offensive, but were criticized in Russia.
According to Western military officials, Gerasimov’s appointment should also reflect the growing power of Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner PMC. Prigogine was a staunch supporter of General Surovikin.
“The recent turmoil in the Russian command appears to be the result of political infighting and nepotism,” said Dara Massicot, senior policy fellow at the RAND think tank in Washington.
Military officials and analysts say Putin is still insisting that Russia capture the Donbass and even Kyiv, raising hopes that General Gerasimov may be expected to launch a successful offensive this spring. There will be heavy pressure.