Ukraine Latest: Putin Picks New Commander for Forces in Ukraine


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(Bloomberg) — Russia named a new commander of its forces in Ukraine, the latest in a number of military shuffles since the invasion bogged down from the start, confounding President Vladimir Putin’s expectations of a quick and limited “special military operation.”

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters in Washington that Russia has had a lot of changes in its command as it tries “to overcome their own difficulties” in a war it shouldn’t have started.

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Ukrainian forces were battling to keep control of Soledar and Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region. 

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On the Ground

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Russian forces hit the southern city of Zaporizhzhia with missiles overnight, damaging private buildings and infrastructure facilities, regional Governor Oleksandr Starukh said on Telegram. To the east, Ukrainian troops repelled attacks near 12 settlements in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including Bakhmut, over the past day, the General Staff said on Facebook. Shelling also continued in Soledar, where Russia has recently ramped up its assault.

(All times CET)

Russia Names New Commander in Latest Reshuffle (1 a.m.)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu changed the military leadership in Ukraine, appointing Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff, as head of the nation’s combined forces.

General Sergei Surovikin, who had held the post since October, will become one of Gerasimov’s deputies, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. 

Under Surovikin’s command, Russian forces withdrew from Kherson, the only Ukrainian regional center captured by Russia after the Feb. 24 invasion. Russia also unleashed waves of missile attacks targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. 


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