Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to cover up the blame for the recent Russian military failures in the Kharkiv region by making quick changes of generals in the area. This was stated in the report by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), reported by the Ukrainian media.
According to ISW, a new commander was appointed to the Western Military District – Lieutenant General Roman Berdnikov, who replaced Oleksandr Zhuravlev in this position. ISW notes that Russian units from the Western Military District have mainly operated in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast in recent months, but without a clearly defined commander. Zhuravlev had not been seen for some time and Putin changed the two commanders of the “Group of Western Forces” in two weeks.
ISW experts suggest in the analysis that perhaps Putin is trying to reshuffle cards and generals due to dissatisfaction with the Russian Federation’s losses in the Kharkiv and Lyman region. “It could also be – says the Institute – an attempt to protect Colonel General Alexander Lapin, commander of the central military district, from criticism for the recent Russian failures in Lyman”. The ISW notes that in this way Putin could try to shift the blame for future Russian losses in the Kharkiv and possibly Lugansk regions to the newly appointed Berdnikov.
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