Shoigu changed the commanders of two military districts

The Ministry of Defense has changed the commanders of the Southern and Western Military Districts, writes RBC, citing personnel sources familiar with the decision and sources close to the Ministry of Defense.

The Western Military District will now be headed by Lieutenant General Yevgeny Nikiforov, instead of Colonel General Sergei Kuzovlev. And Kuzovlev himself took the post of commander of the Southern Military District.

Kuzovlev headed the district shortly before the new year and received his position thanks to his skill and achievements, wrote the Ryber telegram channel close to the Ministry of Defense.

Kuzovlev’s departure from the Western Military District and Nikiforov’s appointment had been previously reported by Ukrainian and British intelligence. At the same time, the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Kuzovlev was “fired” “Internal Political Struggle in Russia’s Top Leadership”. His appointment as head of the Southern Military District was not reported earlier.

Nikiforov called Ukrainian intelligence “Candidate from the Surovikin-Prigozhin group (former commander of the group of troops in Ukraine Sergey Surovikin and owner of Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin). The investigative group Bellingcat wrote about Nikiforov’s connections with the Wagner PMC, recalled the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW). In 2014-2015, the general headed the headquarters of the 58th Army, which was the backbone of the support and provision of the separatists in Donbass.

The British Ministry of Defense indicated that Nikiforov’s task would be to keep Kremenya and Svatovo in the Lugansk region. The department recalled that at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Nikiforov, as chief of staff of the Eastern Military District, had taken part in the unsuccessful offensive against Kyiv. His troops attempted to enter the Ukrainian capital through Chernobyl.

The Southern Military District was previously headed by Alexander Dvornikov, who became commander of the Combined Group of Troops until he was replaced by Sergei Surovikin in October. Surovikin himself was also replaced as head of the Group of Troops in Ukraine by Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov after three months of leadership.

The commander of the Western Military District has been changed for the fourth time since the start of the war in Ukraine. In addition to Kuzovlev, the district was led by Lieutenant General Roman Berdnikov and Colonel General Alexander Zhuravlev.

The Ministry of Defense believes that the constant change of commanders of both military districts and combined forces in Ukraine indicates internal disagreements about the future conduct of the war and the realization of the failure of the military company.

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