Who is Sergei Surovikin, the “general Armageddon”
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Who is Sergei Surovikin, the “general Armageddon”

Sergei Surovikin, nicknamed “General Armageddon” for his uncompromising and brutal approach to war, was chosen by Putin as head of military operations in Ukraine: in his past, allegations of beatings and massacres in Syria.

Sergei Surovikin is the new commander of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.

He is the man Putin wanted to head the war, after the failures of his troops on the ground.

“Surovikin’s appointment probably reflects an effort by the Russian national security community to improve the execution of the operation. However, he will likely have to compete with an increasingly biased Ministry of Defense that has scarce resources to achieve the political goals that have been set. in Ukraine, “British Intelligence wrote today in its daily update on developments in the ongoing war.

Why Surovikin is called General Armageddon

But who is Surovikin?

Let’s start by saying that he doesn’t have a good reputation.

Nicknamed “General Armageddon”, for his uncompromising, often brutal and unconventional approach to warfare, he is known for conducting a series of air and ground attacks on civilian infrastructure in Syria, according to a 2020 Human Rights Watch report, including which “houses, schools, health facilities and markets, places where people live, work and study”. Fifty-six years in a few days, that mission earned him the recognition of Hero of the Russian Federation.

This is what he replied yesterday in Ukraine, when a rain of missiles fell on Kiev and other cities, killing 19 people and wounding 105 others.

The beginnings of the military career

His rise, in the early 2000s, began parallel to that of Putin, with command posts from Chechnya to the headquarters of the armed forces in Moscow, from the Urals to the rooms of the Ministry of Defense, where he was responsible for organizing the police. military.

There are quite a few spots in his resume. The most famous dates back to 2004 when he was accused of beating Lieutenant Colonel Viktor Chibizov, while the following month Colonel Andrei Shtakal shot himself in front of him after some alleged criticism of him.

Surovikin’s challenge in Ukraine

Surovikin’s main challenge in Ukraine, experts say, will be to solve the structural problems facing the Russian military as it faces a fierce Ukrainian counter-offensive. “He is very cruel but he is also a competent commander,” Gleb Irisov, a former Air Force lieutenant who worked with Surovikin until 2020, told the Guardian, adding, “However, he will not be able to solve all the problems. Russia is short of arms and manpower. ”

But the choice of Surovikin also served Putin to appease the criticisms received in recent days by the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and by the head of the private military company Wagner Evgenij Prigozhin, who welcomed his appointment as head of the military operation.