The Russian Defense Ministry said that General Sergei Surovikin, the head of the air force, will become the commander-in-chief of the special military operation in Ukraine.
“According to the decision of the Minister of Defense, General Sergei Surovikin has been appointed as the commander-in-chief of the troops in the special military operation area,” the Russian Defense Ministry announced on October 8.
Observers say this is the first time Russia has appointed a “commander-in-chief” for the entire military operation in Ukraine.
Over the past eight months or so, the campaign has been organized into several offensive axes, under the command of various generals, and each wing will report to Moscow.
In April 2022, when the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the military operation in Ukraine had moved to the second phase, the agency announced the decision to choose General Alexander Dvornikov as “commander-in-chief”.
However, the role of General Dvornikov focused exclusively on the second phase of the campaign and the Donbass region.
The Russian advances in that period were almost all in the area that General Dvornikov was in charge of as Commander of the Southern Military District of Russia.
General Sergei Surovikin, 56, was born in Novosibirsk in the Siberian region. He was trained at Omsk Advanced Armed Forces School, Moscow Military Academy in the late 1980s and early 1990s. General Surovikin was once deployed by the Russian military to Tajikistan as a battalion and divisional commander.
In 2002, he graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, which is a school for officers with the rank of major. Mr. Surovikin then took command of the infantry divisions in Yekaterinburg and then Chechnya.
In 2008, he worked at the General Department of Organization of the General Staff. After twice moving to military zones, in 2013 Mr. Surovikin was appointed commander of the eastern army.
It is known that General Sergei Surovikin has held the position of commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces since 2017.
That same year, he was awarded the title “Hero of Russia” for his important role in the military campaign in Syria. Before that, he also took part in campaigns related to the conflict in Chechnya.
According to various media reports, Mr. Surovikin was nicknamed ‘General Armageddon’ by his colleagues due to his particularly tough approach to military operations. According to the Bible, Armageddon is the site of a decisive battle between good and evil.
General Surovikin was in charge of the southern wing of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.
At the end of June 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that General Surovikin had commanded the army to remove a large force of Ukrainian troops besieged in the Gorskoye region in Lugansk.
One of his key tasks now is to repel the ongoing fierce counter-attack by Ukraine.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, with a statement to “demilitarize” and “de-fascistize” the neighboring country.
Moscow said that, after more than seven months of conflict, a total of nearly 6,000 soldiers were killed. Russia also believes that losses on the Ukrainian side can be 10 times higher.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 21, 2022, signed a moratorium on partial mobilization with the goal of mobilizing about 300,000 reservists to strengthen the military force.
According to Russian officials, as of the beginning of this week, more than 200,000 people have been called up for military service.