Russia has appointed General Sergei Surovikin as the new overall commander of Kremlin forces engaged in Ukraine since its invasion began on February 24.
“By the decision of the defense minister of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergei Surovikin has been appointed commander of the joint group of troops in the area of the special military operation,” the statement said, using the Kremlin’s term for the invasion of Ukraine.
Surovikin has led Russia’s Aerospace Forces — an office created in 2015 when the Russian Air Force, the Air and Missile Forces, and the Space Forces were placed under one command.
In June, Surovikin was placed in charge of Russian troops in southern Ukraine. He had previously served in Tajikistan, Chechnya, and Syria.
The announcement came hours after a blast and fire stopped traffic and damaged a key bridge linking Russia to the occupied Crimean Peninsula earlier Saturday., It also followed a report by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate on Facebook that Russia’s National Guard and police units had begun arresting military personnel in the Moscow