A “Wagner” candidate takes over a Russian troop command in Ukraine. Fighting for the city of Bakhmut continues. Ukraine wants to shake Russia’s UN membership. What happened that night in the Ukraine war.

Evgeniy Nikiforov has been appointed the new commander of the troops of Russia’s Western Military District in Ukraine. This is reported by the Defense Intelligence Service of Ukraine on Telegram. He replaces Sergei Kuzovlev in this position.

Nikiforov is a candidate close to Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and the commander of the Russian army in Ukraine, Sergei Surovikin. His predecessor, Kuzovlev, is considered a confidant of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The appointment is therefore probably also a sign of the internal power struggle in the Russian leadership.

“The official reason for Kuzovlev’s dismissal was the failure of preparations for the offensive on the Lyman front,” reports the Defense Intelligence Service of Ukraine. “In reality, however, this is an expression of an internal political struggle in the top leadership of the Russian Federation.”

Nikiforov is the fourth commander of the western military district since the beginning of the war. According to the report, predecessor Kuzovlev only stayed in his position for about a month.

Russian invading forces and Ukrainian defenders continued fighting around the frontline town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. The general staff in Kyiv said that several advances by Russian units had been repelled.

The city of Bakhmut is considered the so-called cornerstone of the front in eastern Ukraine. A breakthrough at this point would allow Russian troops to penetrate deep behind the Ukrainian lines. The city has since been expanded into a fortress by the defenders.

Ukrainian artillery hit a concentration of Russian troops in the village of Polovinkino in the Luhansk region in the east of the country on Monday. Around 150 soldiers were killed or wounded, it said. A similar artillery attack on Russian troops in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine killed around 50 soldiers and wounded another 100, the general staff in Kyiv said. The information could not initially be independently verified.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it launched an initiative to question the legitimacy of Russia’s membership in the United Nations and all bodies. According to the foreign office in Kyiv, Moscow’s seat in the UN or in the World Security Council is not regulated on the basis of international law, the “Ukrajinska Pravda” quoted on Monday from a letter from the authority. Russia has “wrongly” considered itself a UN member since December 1991.

According to Kiev, the name “Russian Federation” does not appear in the UN Charter, and the country has not gone through the necessary admission procedure, such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia after the collapse of Czechoslovakia. The former republics of Yugoslavia also had to re-apply for UN membership after the collapse of the multinational state. Russia considers itself the legitimate successor to the Soviet Union, which was a founding member of the United Nations. The then Russian President Boris Yeltsin merely informed the UN in December 1991 that Russia, with the support of the Commonwealth of Independent States, retained membership in the UN and all bodies.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told the TASS state agency in an interview published on Tuesday night: “The (Kiev) regime is trying on its behalf to draw the Americans and other NATO members deeper into the vortex of the conflict in the hope of to make a hasty clash with the Russian army inevitable.”

He also criticized the course of the West. He constantly speculates that Russia is about to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. “We are talking about completely different matters here – the political course of the West, aimed at total restraint from Russia, is extremely dangerous. It poses risks of a direct armed clash between the nuclear powers,” Lavrov claimed.

What can be important on Tuesday

The Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, is expecting Zelensky’s annual address to MPs this week. The exact date is not given for security reasons.

Also Read: The Ukraine Update