Surovkin. The man who destroyed Aleppo and now rules Russia in Ukraine

NoBorn in Siberia, he is 56 years old and has a long military career. Qualified as a “tough and demanding military leader”, Sergei Surovikin was the man chosen directly by Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, this weekend, to lead the “military special operation” that the country is carrying out in Ukraine..

It has already gone through, according to the BBC, through violent fighting in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Tajikistan and Syria. In the latter country, in the position of head of the Russian Aerospace Forces, he was responsible for the destruction – from the air – of a large part of the city of Aleppo.

In Chechnya, the same channel is still advancing, citing the Russian agency TASS, made a public pledge to “destroy three soldiers for every soldier [de Putin] dead”.

This vast ‘curriculum’ of brutality and cruelty has propelled Surovikin’s name to the top of the Russian head of state’s list of the military ‘capable’ of achieving objectives in Ukraine. With the incident on the Kerch bridge in Crimea – and the various dismissals for “incompetence” of Russian generals – the Siberian’s ‘call’ was seen as a “Putin concession to the intransigent”, underlined Sarah Rainsford, BBC correspondent in the east. from Europe.

It is recalled that Russia attacked with missiles and drones several cities and energy infrastructure in Ukraine this week, causing dozens of deaths and injuries, as well as power cuts. Moscow justified the attacks as a reaction to an explosion on the Crimea bridge on October 8, which it said resulted from a Ukrainian “terrorist attack”.

In its daily assessment of the war in Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) considered that there was no link between the bombings and the appointment of Surovikin, nor a change in Russian capabilities or strategies.

“Disrespect for international law and enthusiasm for the brutalization of civilian populations was standard operating procedure for Russian forces in Syria before, during and after Surovikin’s term. It became part of the Russian way of war,” defended the think tank. North American.

For the ISW, it is “highly unlikely” that Surovikin will “cause a fundamental change” in Russian capabilities in Ukraine as long as Western allies “continue to provide Kyiv with the necessary air defenses to prevent Russia from gaining air superiority”.

Also read: BY THE MINUTE: “We will not be intimidated”; Does Saudi Arabia support Russia?

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