By DailyNewsUG Correspondent,
Russia’s reported appointment of Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, a man with a history of targeting civilians, to take over operations in Ukraine marks what some military analysts see as an indication that Russia intends to terrorize civilians as the war progresses.
Dvornikov, who most recently oversaw Russian troops in Syria, was chosen as the new ground commander in Ukraine, a U.S. official and a Western official confirmed.
The decision to bring in Dvornikov could be an acknowledgment of what U.S. intelligence officials have described as a failure to achieve the quick takeover Russian President Vladimir Putin envisioned, retired Adm. James Stavridis said Sunday on “NBC Nightly News.”
“The appointment of this new general indicates Vladimir Putin’s intent to continue this conflict for months, if not years,” Stavridis said.
Intelligence officials have said that Putin expected the invasion in February to be a swift and easy win for the Kremlin but that it was met with an unrelenting resistance. Bringing in Dvornikov, a man known for his cruelty to civilians, is an attempt to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people, Stavridis warned.
It remains to be seen whether Russia’s “broken” command structure will find success in Ukraine, retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey told MSNBC on Saturday. Putin’s military failed to take control early on and has apparently now switched tactics, McCaffrey said.
The potential horrors facing Ukrainians under Russian occupation were starkly brought into focus last week. Residents described arbitrary killings, intimidation and looting by Russian soldiers in the five weeks under their control.
Ukrainian officials estimate hundreds of civilians were killed in Bucha, and they accuse Moscow of committing war crimes there. Russia has denied targeting nonmilitary targets and accused Ukraine of staging atrocities to discredit it.
Asked by both CNN and MSNBC about Dvornikov on Sunday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan did not confirm or deny the appointment. He said on “Meet the Press” that the U.S. “will do whatever we can to help Ukraine succeed.”