The Russian war of aggression is not going as planned. After the failed attempt to conquer the capital Kyiv, Putin is now apparently also advancing in the Donbass too slowly. Officers are also held responsible for the failure – and fired.
The Kremlin fires senior officers and commanders. In their latest analysis, the war researchers at the independent Institute for the Study of War (ISW) write that there may be signs of “a radical transformation of the Russian command structure”.
The commander of the Russian airborne troops was replaced just a few days ago. Several Russian media reported that Colonel-General Mikhail Teplinsky took Andrei Serdyukov’s place. Teplinski comes from Donbass, so he was born in Ukraine. Because he joined the pro-Russian side, the Kremlin-affiliated media hailed him as the “Hero of Russia”.
Ukrainian sources reported a few days ago that Putin dismissed Serdyukov because of poor performance and high casualties among the paratroopers.
A large amount of information also indicates that Russia’s top Ukraine campaign commander, Alexander Dvornikov, is to be replaced. This is reported by the ISW, citing several sources.
Dvornikov, who played a central role in the Russian war in Syria, was appointed supreme warlord in Ukraine just a few weeks ago. Now the investigative journalist group Bellingcat is reporting that Putin is planning to replace Dvornikov. The reasons given are excessive alcohol consumption and a lack of trust among the Russian armed forces.
According to the Ukrainian news service Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), Putin has already replaced Dvornikov with Colonel-General Gennady Zhidko. An official confirmation is not yet available. According to the ISW, too, the source situation is not sufficient to definitively prove Dwornikov’s replacement.
Nonetheless, war researchers at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) comment on their analysis: “Such drastic rotations within the Russian military, if true, are not measures taken by a force poised for great success.” . Instead, they “point to an ongoing dysfunction in the Kremlin’s warfare.”
This is reflected in the current course of the war. Although the Russians succeed in conquering some places, at the same time they lose territories again. All in all, the conflict in the east has become bogged down – which is expensive and costs a lot of material and soldiers’ lives.
According to British experts, the pro-Russian separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine have suffered enormous losses since the beginning of the war. The troops have lost around 55 percent of their original combat strength, according to an update published by the British Ministry of Defense on Wednesday. This shows the extraordinary attrition of Russian and pro-Russian troops in the hotly contested Donbass region.
According to Ukrainian sources, the total number of casualties suffered by Russian and pro-Russian troops is now well over 30,000.