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Putin Is Sending a New General to Win the War in Ukraine

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Ukrainian tank firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russia Replaces Military Leadership in Ukraine with Alexander Dvornikov – After more than 45 days without achieving any of their initial objectives that were expected to be met within 2-3 days, the Russian Ministry of Defense has conducted a shakeup of its military leadership in Ukraine. 

The commander of Russia’s southern military district, General Alexander Dvornikov, has been given overall command of the Ukrainian invasion according to sources. Dvornikov reportedly has extensive experience in Syria, during the Russian operations in support of the Bashar al-Assad regime during the Syrian Civil War

“That particular commander has a lot of experience of operations of Russian operations in Syria. So we would expect the overall command and control to improve,” the source said to the BBC.

Dvornikov’s assumption of leadership is expected to have an impact on coordination between the different units involved in the invasion. Prior to this, individual Russian units were operating individually with no central command and control overseeing combat operations. That has proved to be a disaster as the attacks conducted separately have not been mutually supportive of each other. 

Between this strategic mistake and several others, the Russian military has been ground to a halt. The Ukrainian military has made massive changes and upgrades since the 2014 Russian invasion where they annexed Crimea. The Ukrainian tactics, including getting massive civilian support in hit-and-run attacks have been a major factor in slowing the Russian advance. 

Dvornikov has several factors working against him. Not the least of which is that Moscow (meaning President Vladimir Putin) is expecting an “announceable success” in eastern Ukraine by May 9, the day Russia commemorates the Great Patriotic War’s (what the Russians call World War II) victory.

Russia, despite two decades of modernization for the military, still has a very limited professional NCO corps, relies heavily on conscript troops, and ignored the warmer weather this winter, which made their armored corps road-bound, which resulted in massive losses due to Ukrainian ambushes. Their logistical issues are still a major issue. 

Dvornikov’s Military Career, Including Allegations of War Crimes:

Dvornikov joined the Red Army in 1978 after graduating from the Ussuriysk Suvorov Military School, and has served in several various assignments in his military career, including the Western Group of Forces, and was assigned as a battalion commander to the 6th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade. He also commanded regiments in the 10th Guards Tank Division and the 2nd Guards Motor Rifle Division in the late 1990s.

He rose through the ranks to become the chief of staff in the North Caucasus Military District and later was given the command of a motor rifle division. He was promoted to become the 36th Army’s deputy commander and chief of staff after graduating from the Military Academy of the General Staff. Rising up even further, he was given command of the 5th Red Banner Army in 2008.

After being promoted to Colonel General he was assigned in September 2015, as the first commander of the Russian Armed Forces in Syria during Moscow’s intervention on behalf of the Assad regime in Syria. In March 2016, he was awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation for his leadership. 

He was promoted to Army General and has been the commander of the Russian Southern Military District since 2016, until assuming command of the Ukrainian invasion. 

The state-run newspaper Rossiisskaya Gazeta quoted Dvornikov in 2016 as stating, “I will not hide the fact that on the territory of Syria there is a division of our special operations forces,” he said. 

“They perform supplementary reconnaissance on targets for Russian airstrikes, they are engaged in guiding aircraft to targets in remote areas, and perform other special tasks.”

Many of those airstrikes in Syria have followed a familiar pattern in Ukraine in attempting to indiscriminately target and terrorize the civilian population and were characterized by the Human Rights Watch as war crimes

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for, he has covered the NFL for for more than 10 years and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

Written By

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.



  1. Alex

    April 9, 2022 at 11:35 am

    Change, replacement, rearrangement in personnel policy is very good. Let’s hope that the new command will quickly finish off the Bandera Nazis by sending them to hell with their leader.

  2. James Wooden

    April 9, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    Putin is Gay As he can be. It’s his biggest secret. And the leader of Ukraine knows this. If he sends a different general, it’s because he’s a sissy.

  3. L'amateur d'aéroplanes

    April 9, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    A war criminal leading an army of buffoons. Alexander is definitely condemned to live in hell seeing his Stalinists fail miserably.

  4. Fluffy Dog

    April 9, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    @alex, the troll. playing musical chairs is good? general who leveled Aleppo is now in charge in Ukraine… Russians like you can be proud of such commanders.

  5. Alex

    April 9, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    And now, not the hysteria of the Bandera Nazi in the comments, but the facts:
    1. Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war in Donbass do not have a swastika.
    All Bandera prisoners have swastika tattoos on their backs, chests and shoulders. I think even the comments here are not good enough to understand who the real Nazis are.
    2. The amount of summary data from closed sources at 09:00 on 03/23/22 paints a scary picture:
    The losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine amounted to 123,890 people killed, 76,000 wounded and seriously wounded;
    The losses of the national battalions exceeded 56,000 killed, the wounded are not counted, but often finished off;
    The losses of the Volkssturm and Freikorps, as well as the National Guard and the National Police, exceeded 55,700 killed. The ongoing waves of mobilization in Ukraine speak of the great enthusiasm of the civilian population in signing up for defense, about 110,000 have already been mobilized, however, with the loss of 180,000 ATO and UAF fighters, as well as Nazi and nationalist battalions, they make these thousands of civilians an easy target and potential deserters and strikebreakers.

  6. Eric

    April 9, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    Alex, that is very interesting that you believe those things. How many Russian forces are killed and wounded, from your perspective?

  7. L'amateur d'aéroplanes

    April 10, 2022 at 12:38 am

    @Alex. Joke for a late April 1st? You therefore announce that the Ukrainian forces lost more men in 45 days than the French army or the British Army during the whole of the Second World War? You are definitely and totally a second-rate comedian.

  8. Alex

    April 10, 2022 at 11:24 am

    This is not my data, I also do not really believe in them. I think about 30,000 Bandera Nazis were destroyed. But this is the data of a French journalist. If he’s right and I’m wrong, then I’m happy about it. I hope, despite your age, troll, you will be taken from under your mother’s skirt and also mobilized soon.

  9. pcrescue

    April 10, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    Throw him on the pile with all the other defeated generals.

  10. Alex

    April 10, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    A hundred years ago, the Russian philosopher Ilyin wrote:
    “Europe does not need the truth about Russia, Europe needs the truth that is convenient for it. The European press is ready to print the latest nonsense about Russia, if this nonsense has the character of blasphemy and reproach.”
    This is true even now, if not for one thing: now the truth cannot be hidden for a long time. The truth quickly comes to the surface.

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