A shake-up in Russia’s military



Russia again reshuffled its military command in Ukraine as its forces struggle to make progress in the east. It replaced its top commander with a Kremlin insider who helped to orchestrate the invasion.
Gen. Sergei Surovikin, who is being replaced, was appointed just three months ago. His appointment ended months of disjointed military structure and followed a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive that drove the Russians out of much of the Kharkiv region.


Under Surovikin, the Russian military largely switched to a defensive mode, allowing it to reduce the military failures that had characterized the first half year of the war. Russia shifted its strategy and began launching missile and drone attacks against Ukraine’s energy grid. But Russian forces have struggled in the continuing offensive for Ukraine’s east. For weeks, the front lines have been largely static.
Analysts said that the replacement of Surovikin, a respected commander, with Gen. Valery Gerasimov, a Kremlin apparatchik, showed that President Vladimir Putin remained focused on projecting stability rather than improving Russia’s military outlook. And some nationalist military bloggers compared the reshuffle to a game of musical chairs among Moscow’s ineffectual military old guard.


Quotable: “They have taken someone who is competent and replaced him with someone who is incompetent, but who has been there a long time and who has shown that he is loyal,” a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation said.
Soledar: Ukraine says it is still fighting for this town outside Bakhmut, a key city in the eastern Donbas region, despite the Wagner Group’s claim that its mercenaries had taken the town.