After more than 40 days of war, Vladimir Putin has changed its strategy and also the highest authorities of its army. That is why he has appointed a new leader commanding the troops of Russia: Alexander Dvornikov (Aleksandr, in Russian), a 60-year-old military man who joined the Russian army in 1978, and whom the United States warns of for his cruelty with the civilian population.
Following the announcement of the appointment, the national security adviser to the USAJake Sullivan, has stated that the new Russian general has a history of “brutality against civilians” in scenarios such as Syria, and anticipates that it will apply the same script in Ukrainian territory.
Sullivan has stressed that, since the beginning of the conflict with Ukraine, Russia has already committed “war crimes”and that the arrival of Alexander Dvornikov at the head of the offense is a sign that “there will be more”. In fact, various NGOs accuse the military of having committed massacres in Syria.
Dvornikov was instructed in the Suvorov Military School and at the Frunze Military Academy. He was a battalion commander in the 6th Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade, and also served in other regiments such as the 10th Guards Tank Division.
He was moving up the ranks North Caucasus Military District and, in 2008, he came to lead the fifth army of the Red flag. He also held the position of deputy commander of the Eastern Military District and chief of staff of the Central Military District.
Between 2015 and 2016 he served as director of the group of the Armed Forces in Syria. There, Dvornikov would have played a key role in the fight against the jihadists. For this reason, the Russian Government appointed him Hero of the Russian Federation.
Since then, Dvornikov has headed the Southern Military Districtuntil Putin recently decided to call him to lead Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine.
What will happen now?
The russian invasionwhich began on February 24, is now changing course to focus especially on the region of the donbaswhose independence was recognized by Putin days before the war began.
Now, what is expected to happen is that a “great battle” in this region located in the east of the country, where Ukrainian and Russian troops will clash. Indeed, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Joseph Borrellwarned this Monday of the concentration of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine, warning of a imminent russian offensive against the Donbas region.
“Russian troops are concentrating in the east to launch an attack against Donbas. I am afraid that the war in the coming days will increase in Donbas,” he warned before the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg.
Waiting for the big battle
Ukrainian presidential adviser and chief negotiator of the peace talks with Russia, Mikhailo Podoliakexplained this Sunday that the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyand his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will only agree to meet to settle the war when i finish this imminent great struggle of the Donbas.
“Ukraine is always ready for a big battle. We have to win it, particularly in Donbas. After that, we will have a stronger negotiating position, which will allow us to dictate certain conditions. Then the presidents will meet, but that it could take two to three weeks“, Podoliak has indicated.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.