Russia appoints new commander for Ukraine operation

The Russian Defense Ministry has announced the appointment of a new commander for what it calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine, according to Russian state media.

The Russian Defense Ministry has announced the appointment of a new commander for what it calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine, according to Russian state media.

The ministry said that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has approved the appointment of Gen. Sergey Surovikin as commander of Russia's "Joint Grouping of Forces" in Ukraine. 

Russian state news agency TASS said the ministry's spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, made the announcement Saturday.

The appointment for Surovikin, who turns 55 on Oct. 11, is the latest promotion in a military career that began in 1983. He's served in several conflicts and faced sanctions by the European Union.

Surovikin first saw service in Afghanistan before commanding a unit in the Second Chechen War. He has also served as head of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

He commanded several motorized rifle divisions and was instrumental in Russia's operations in Syria, when Russian combat aircraft caused widespread devastation in rebel-held areas. In 2017, he was appointed commander in chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces and was promoted to be an Army general last year. 

While in Syria, he was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation.

MNA/PR

News Code 192219

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