Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed General Alexander Dvornikov, who has a history of targeting civilians, as the new commander to oversee operations in the invasion of Ukraine, reports say.
Citing an official, BBC News reported that Russia has chosen Southern Military District Commander Dvornikov as the new general commander in Ukraine “to attempt to provide better coordination” between Russian forces.
“That particular commander has a lot of experience of Russian operations in Syria. So we would expect the overall command and control to improve,” the official said.
Retired United States Admiral James Stavridis told NBC Nightly News on April 10 that Dvornikov’s appointment was also an attempt to break the spirit of Ukrainians.
According to Stavridis, Dvornikov is known as the “Butcher of Syria.”
“He is the goon called in by Vladimir Putin to flatten cities like Aleppo in Syria. He has used tools of terrorism throughout that period including working with the Syrian forces, torture centers, systematic rape, nerve agents. He is the worst for the worst,” Stavridis said.
Stavridis also said that Dvornikov’s appointment “indicates Vladimir Putin’s intent to continue this conflict for months, if not years.”
Dvornikov’s appointment comes as Russia shifts its focus on eastern Ukraine.
According to military analysts, Dvornikov’s appointment could indicate that Russia has failed to quickly take Ukraine.
“No appointment of any general can erase the fact that Russia has already faced a strategic failure in Ukraine. They thought that they were going to be able to conquer the capital city and take other major cities with little resistance,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN’S State of the Union.
“This general will just be another author of crimes and brutality against Ukrainian civilians,” Sullivan also said.
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