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Russia sets a unique overall commander for its military in Ukraine

Russia sets a unique overall commander for its military in Ukraine

October 11, 2022: -Russia has appointed a replacement leader to lead all its forces in Ukraine as the Kremlin’s war marches into its eighth month.

Sergei Surovikin, an Army general who heads Russia’s air force, previously led Russian forces in Syria. His new role choice galvanized Russian troops after several setbacks, including heavy losses of troops and equipment and the forfeiture of thousands of square miles of occupied territory.

Surovikin’s appointment arrives on the heels of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to conscript hundreds of thousands of Russian men for the war. Putin’s order for almost 300,000 Russians to join the fight in Ukraine is the since World War II that Moscow has drafted civilians into the military.

In recent weeks, the Kremlin’s denial to impose a partial draft was triggered partly by a series of stunning Ukrainian advances.

Last week, Putin declared that four Ukrainian regions now belonged to Russia. The Russian leader cited referendums, widely viewed as rigged and illegal by Western countries, held in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine.

“The results are very well known,” Putin said on September 30. “There are four latest regions of Russia,” referring to the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.

On the heels of Putin’s address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy added he would offer an “accelerated” application for his country to return to the NATO military alliance.

Equipped with an arsenal of Western spears, Ukrainian forces are taking vast swaths of territory occupied by Russian troops following the early days of the war. Their battleground victories have dented the reputation of the Kremlin’s mighty war machine.

But as Ukraine is battling to retake ground one village at a time, the cost to civilians has been enormous.

So far, the U.N. shows that Russia’s invasion has claimed more than 6,000 civilian lives and led to over 8,600 injuries. The U.N. Offices High Commissioner for Human Rights adds that Ukraine’s death toll is higher.

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Russia sets a unique overall commander for its military in Ukraine