By relying on General Alexander Dvornikov to revive the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin chose to bet on an official who proved himself in the war in Syria, earning him the nickname “Syria’s butcher shop.”
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The 60-year-old industrialist, who joined the Russian army about forty years ago, led a Moscow-based intervention force in Syria in 2015 to support the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Under his leadership, the Russian air campaign in Syria helped Bashar al-Assad’s forces stabilize their position after years of civil war. However, Russian troops were charged with numerous war crimes during their intervention.
Knowledge of Ukraine
In recognition of his services, Alexander Dvornikov was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Russian forces in the south of the country in 2016. His territory includes Crimea and Chechnya, which he had already fought in the 90s, so the soldier already knew the Donbass area well. In Ukraine, fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainians has been going on since 2014.
“The appointment of Dvornikov as commander now makes sense, and Russian efforts are almost entirely concentrated in the field under his charge,” the Institute for War Research noted in analyzing this change in the strategy of the military leadership during the retreat of Russian forces. From the vicinity of Kiev to assemble in eastern Ukraine.
Previously, Dvornikov was part of a group of two or three commanders in charge of commanding various bases in Ukraine, the agency recommended, which complicated decision-making and contributed to the tactical setback of Russian forces from the outset. Invasion.
In the view of Mark Kaliotti, an honorary professor at the University College of London, who studies Russian forces, it is not surprising that General Dvornikov chose to take responsibility for the attack.
Named for his findings, the general is seen as “someone accustomed to a new and unfamiliar situation”, the analyst explained. Washington Post.
This new twist, however, raises fears in the United States that civilian abuse in Boutcha and other Russian-occupied cities is only a taste.
“This general has a resume containing atrocities against civilians in other theaters in Syria. We can expect the same [en Ukraine]Jake Sullivan, the White House’s national security adviser, commented on CNN’s broadcast on Sunday.
Who was Alexander Dvornikov?
– He joined the Soviet army in 1978, where he moved from one command to another.
– In the late 90s, he fought in the Second Chechen War, where he won several positions.
– He was appointed head of the Russian intervention in Syria in 2015, where abuses against civilians are on the rise.
– Appointed in 2016 as Commander-in-Chief of the All-Southern Russian Army, which covers the Crimean and Ukrainian borders. In the same year he was awarded the Hero Medal of the Russian Federation, one of the most prestigious Russian titles.
– He was promoted to General of the Army in April 2020.