If they’re not talking about you, you’re not doing something; you’re not doing anything. So if they’re talking about you, you may be doing something right. And when they talk bad about you, you just use it for motivation.
How else to explain these bizarre stories claiming that General Surovikin has been replaced? First up, The Jerusalem Post:
Colonel General Sergin Surovikin, “The Butcher of Syria“, is being replaced by Russian Lieutenant General Yevgeny Nikiforov in heading Russia’s Western Group of Forces in Ukraine.
Lieutenant General Nikiforov will be the 4th person to have taken this position since the invasion of Ukraine began; his predecessor only held the position for three months.
This change in leadership has seemingly inspired some new strategic decisions, according to the UK Ministry of Defense, as a new wave of long-range strikes targetting power distributors launched on the 29th of December. It is thought that the aim of the attacks is to diminish Ukrainian morale for the New Year.
What is their source? The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Yeah, that makes sense. Who is in a better position to know about changes in Russian military leadership than the Ukrainians?
Not to be out done by the staff of the Jerusalem Post, Anthony Grant, an editor of The New York Sun based in Athens, Greece, weighed in with a confusing,contradictory account:
As Ukrainians greeted the new year by dealing with a fresh barrage of Russian missiles and drones, Russia replaced the general overseeing much of its floundering invasion — portending a difficult winter for the region.
Out after only three months as commander of Russia’s Western Group is Sergei Kuzovlev; his replacement is the general who early on in the war led Moscow’s botched offensive on Kyiv, Yevgeny Nikiforov. This could play to Ukraine’s advantage, but it’s also one that underlines how Russia is in no mood for retreat.
While not explicitly stated in the Russian press, it is unlikely that the appointment of General Nikiforov could have been effected without the approval of Vladimir Putin or the Russian president’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu. Mr. Nikiforov can be credited, if that is the word, for having attempted to capture Kyiv by shunting Russian troops and airborne forces through Chernobyl first.
Looks like the staff of the Jerusalem Post are racists — they think all Russian Generals look alike and cannot tell the difference between Sergei SUROVIKIN and Sergei KUZOVLEV.
Turns out that General Surovikin, who was recently decorated by President Putin with the Order of St. George the III, is still the Supreme Commander of the military operation in Ukraine. (Many thanks to Cindra for locating the reference.)
I am having trouble following the logic in The NY Sun report. General Kuzovlov is being replaced by General Nikiforov, who is blamed by the Western press for losing the first battle of Kiev in March. According to Mr. Grant, “This could play to Ukraine’s advantage, but it’s also one that underlines how Russia is in no mood for retreat.” Huh? Russia is in no mood for retreat so it appoints a General who is blamed for a previous retreat? Seems like Mr. Grant, who is an editor, desperately needs an editor schooled in logic.
So who is the real source for explaining that this personnel move is an indicator of chaos in the Russian ranks? I hope you’re sitting down (I don’t want you to pass out from the shock of what I am about to reveal.) It was the intrepid British Defense Intelligence:
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s revolving door of generals “probably” indicates fractures in the Kremlin and disagreement among top officials as the war in Ukraine enters its 11th month.
“The continued churn of senior Russian officers probably reflects internal divisions regarding the Russian Ministry of Defense’s future conduct of the war,” a British Defense intelligence update stated on Friday.
Russia’s missile barrage of Ukraine is intensifying, not slackening. The Russian Army, under Surovikin’s direction, is pulverizing Ukrainian forces along a 450 mile front. Russia is not scrambling to find replacements. That distinction belongs to Ukraine, which is pressing 60 year old men into military service. How does that constitute a “floundering invasion.”
Hope springs eternal among deranged, delusional Western military analysts. They cannot let go of the “Russia On the Ropes” meme:
The failure to decisively end the conflict has seen Russia and Ukraine enter the 11th month of fighting with little end in sight. Russia has started to run short on munitions, seeking help from Iran and North Korea to replenish rocket and artillery ammunition before possibly running out in early 2023.
A senior U.S. military official told reporters earlier this month that Russia’s “fully serviceable” ammunitions are “rapidly dwindling,” and it is likely forcing them to rely on arms with “downgraded conditions.”
“Projection” remains a strong psychological disorder among the ranks of U.S. and UK intelligence analysts. Putin has not swerved from his stated purpose of “demilitarizing” and “de-nazifying” Ukraine. But Putin has been surprised (and I think his generals as well) — he never anticipated that the West would be straining and failing to supply Ukraine with the ammunition and supplies needed to sustain the Ukrainian army in the field. Looks like Russia is on its way to a twofer, i.e., demilitarizing Ukraine and NATO.