From Chechnya to Syria to Ukraine – General Alexander Dvornikov

SINGAPORE – Russia has appointed General Alexander Dvornikov to oversee what President Vladimir Putin calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Thus far, by all accounts, issues haven’t gone as easily for the Russians as that they had hoped.

Here is what is understood concerning the new normal.

Who is he?

The 60-year-old has held a number of senior positions within the Russian navy, together with military commander of the Far Eastern Military District.

He served in Chechnya within the Nineties. In 2015, he was appointed to lead navy operations in Syria, changing into the primary Russian commander to achieve this.

Since 2016, he has overseen Russia’s southern navy district, which incorporates Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula seized by Russia in 2014.

Why has he been appointed?

Russia’s preliminary efforts to seize Kyiv and the remainder of Ukraine haven’t borne fruit for quite a lot of causes, together with stronger than anticipated resistance by Ukrainian forces and, in accordance to some analysts, a scarcity of a single general commander.

Moscow stated it’s now refocusing its efforts on capturing Ukraine’s south and east, the place General Dvornikov was already in command.

According to an evaluation by the US-based think-tank, the Institute for the Study of War, “the designation of Dvornikov as the overall commander makes sense now given that the announced Russian main efforts are almost all in his area of responsibility”.

What did he do in Syria?

2015 was an important yr within the battle in Syria as a result of President Bashar al-Assad regarded as if he won’t win in opposition to anti-government insurgent teams that fashioned after the rebellion within the nation in 2011. Just as Mr Assad’s grip on energy appeared tenuous, Russia intervened to present assist to its long-time ally.

With Gen Dvornikov as commander overseeing the marketing campaign, Russian forces carried out widespread and indiscriminate bombardments of Syrian civilians, neighbourhoods and hospitals in tandem with Mr Assad’s forces, turning the struggle within the Syrian chief’s favour.

Gen Dvornikov was honoured as a “hero of the Russian Federation” in 2016 for his efficiency in Syria.

What now in Ukraine?

The Kremlin will doubtless need him to ship some type of success by May 9, a nationwide vacation in Russia commemorating the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany throughout World War II.

Victory Day, as it’s referred to as, is considered one of Russia’s most necessary holidays. It contains a navy parade and Mr Putin would assessment troops beside the Kremlin and provides a speech on Russia’s capabilities.

Given the importance of the occasion, the Russian chief would need to draw parallels between the Soviet Union’s victory and his personal avowed goal to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

Many within the West, together with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, now count on Gen Dvornikov to unleash discriminate assaults, together with on Ukrainian civilians, to obtain Russian goals, simply as he did in Syria.

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