Aerospace Force General Sergei Surovikin (left in photo) was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Special Military Operation in Ukraine. He started out with the Spetsnaz special forces during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He set up the Russian military police, then took command of the Russian armed forces in Syria, which earned him the title “Hero of the Russian Federation”. He has served as commander of the Army Group “South” of the Russian Army Forces.

At the same time, Army General Rustam Muradov was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Region of Russia. He was previously an adviser to the Syrian army and commander-in-chief of the peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh. He was awarded the title “Hero of the Russian Federation” in 2017.

There is talk of a possible next change affecting the Minister of Defense. The current incumbent Sergei Shoigu started as Minister of Emergency Situations. He also bears the title of “Hero of the Russian Federation”. He brilliantly fulfilled his mission in Syria, but is not a trained soldier. The Minister of Defense must be capable of supervising the army over the long haul. He must not get bogged down in the military operations in Ukraine, but must always keep in mind that this is only one round in the long war between Russia and the Anglo-Americans.