Oct 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Russia names new commander amid setbacks in war against Ukraine

Sergei Rudskoi is seen on a screen at a briefing in the Russian Defense Ministry headquarters in Moscow on Sept. 6, 2017. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images

Russia's Defense Ministry named a new commander to lead its forces in Ukraine — marking the country's third senior military personnel change within a week, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: General Sergei Surovikin has long had a reputation for corruption and brutality, military analysts told the New York Times.

  • Surovikin, who will replace General Alexander Dvornikov, was put on a sanctions list by the European Union the day before Russia invaded Ukraine.

The big picture: Surovikin's appointment comes as Russian forces have suffered setbacks as Ukraine continues to make gains and reclaim territories.

  • Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in late August, recapturing multiple cities that serve as key logistics and transportation hubs with the most recent one being Lyman in northern Donetsk, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.
  • Ukrainian forces have also made advancements in the southern Kherson region, taking back roughly 200 square miles of territory from Russian troops since the start of October.

The latest: On Saturday, the Kremlin suffered another setback after a massive fireball damaged a key bridge that links the Crimean Peninsula and the Russian mainland, Axios’ Herb Scribner reports.

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