Vladimir Putin Sergei Shoigu Ukraine Russia Syria reports president Citi Vladimir Putin Sergei Shoigu Ukraine Russia Syria

Russia appoints former Chechen war, Syria commander to lead flagging Ukraine campaign

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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has appointed a new commander to the armed forces in Ukraine as Moscow looks to turn around its dwindling fortunes.

General of the Army Sergei Surovikin will take over as Commander of the Joint Group of Russian Forces in Ukraine effective immediately, drawing on experience from the second Chechen war and campaigns in Syria and Tajikistan, Russian outlet Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported.

Surovikin previously held command of the Southern group in June and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces in 2017.

His Chechen war experience, where he led the 42nd Guards Motor Rifle Division, will draw scrutiny as a campaign rife with accusations of war crimes and human rights violations and marked by its brutality.

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