The entire northern part of the country is now freed from invaders, but Russia maintains its positions in the east of the country and in the southeast.
Russian troops have withdrawn from the outskirts of kyiv and Chernigov, as well as from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the town of Sumy. The entire northern part of the country is now freed from invaders. But Russia maintains its positions in the east of the country and in the southeast. The Russian Defense Ministry announced on March 25, just a month after the start of the war, that efforts would henceforth be directed in the direction of achieving the priority goal now: “the liberation of Donbass.”
However, half a month has passed and progress in the east is not being significant. The port city of Mariupol continues to resist. In addition, the Russian forces have suffered heavy casualties, recognized even by the Kremlin, during the various offensives launched so far and also during the partial withdrawal. So, according to sources consulted by the British BBC, President Vladimir Putin has decided to “reorganize” the troops and put a new commander-in-chief, General Alexander Dvórnikov, at the head of the military intervention in Ukraine.
According to the Pentagon, Russia retains about 80-85 percent of the combat capability it had before the invasion. The US Military Department maintains that Moscow is currently trying to recruit 60,000 more soldiers. Intelligence from Western countries and Ukraine indicates that Russian units are concentrating in the Donbass and Kharkov region to try to launch attacks and try to surround the Ukrainian Army in the east. Even a massive attack on Kharkov is not ruled out.
In the same report consulted by the BBC, on the appointment of Dvórnikov and his new tasks to be carried out, it is emphasized that the new commander-in-chief’s mission is “to achieve some kind of success in Ukraine before May 9”, the date on which that Putin will go as every year to the great parade in Moscow’s Red Square to celebrate the anniversary, in this case the 77th, of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.
Dvornikov has so far led Russia’s Southern Military Region, which includes the Crimean Peninsula annexed in 2014, and it is emphasized that he gained significant combat experience by leading the actions of the Russian Army in Syria. It is estimated that such experience will serve to achieve a better “coordination” of the Russian troops in Ukraine, which, apparently, have been acting until now in a disorganized and independent manner on each of the fronts.
However, the BBC sources predict that if Russia does not change the military tactics that have so far prevented the troops from achieving success on the battlefield, even with their numerical superiority, their Ukrainian adversaries will continue to maintain their high combat effectiveness. “by acting more intelligently, maneuverably and unpredictably and by being able to deliver unexpected attacks.” Putting an end to this situation is the main task that Putin seems to have entrusted to this general.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister, Anna Malyar, also believes that there will be a change in tactics by the Russian Army. In her opinion, «Russia had certain plans before the start of the war, but since they did not work, now it is forced to change them at great speed». Malyar believes that “the occupiers are establishing new directions of attack and calculating the weak points of the Ukrainian defense. They didn’t expect it. Our defense has been more intellectual than forceful. “But now, Russia is prolonging the war in an attempt to correct the mistakes made so far,” she said.
Russia is estimated to have just under 100 battalions or tactical groups available to carry out operations once relocations resume. It would be a “significant” force, according to the report, though it would be of little use without a radical change in tactics. “There are contradictions in military logic between the proper training of forces to intensify the operation in Donbass, the potential use of more appropriate tactics, the lessons learned from recent failed operations, and the political need to accelerate the operation as quickly as possible. », affirm the anonymous sources of the BBC, also warning that «without a modification of their tactics (…) it will be difficult to achieve even those new more limited objectives that have been set».
The main flaw that military experts have pointed to as the cause of the fiasco of the offensive in kyiv and the high number of casualties among generals and high-ranking officers has been the lack of a unified command, which is what Dvornikov has come to solve. , 60 years old and a native of Ussuriisk, in the Russian Far East. Between November 1999 and April 2000 he was the head of a motorized regiment stationed in Chechnya with which he participated in the assault on Grozny, the capital of that Caucasian republic, during which no stone was left unturned.
Later, between September 2015, just at the beginning of the armed intervention, and June 2016, Dvórnikov was put in charge of the supreme command of the group of forces deployed in Syria. In that period of time a devastating offensive took place against the city of Aleppo and others in Latakia, Sheikh Miskin and Deir ez-Zor. Palmira was also released. For all these merits he was awarded the gold star of “Hero of the Russian Federation”, the highest distinction in the country.