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The Kremlin has appointed a new Ukrainian war commander, as Russia's invasion of the country heads towards its seventh week.
President Vladimir Putin first sent troops across the border on 24 February in what he called a 'special military operation'.
One of Russia's most experienced military officers has since been appointed as the new Ukrainian war commander.
General Alexander Dvornikov is now set to lead the Russian invasion.
"That particular commander has a lot of experience of operations of Russian operations in Syria. So we would expect the overall command and control to improve," a Western official told BBC News.
While Russian units have previously been organised and commanded individually, the source claimed the change of leadership has been implemented to try and improve communication between them.
44 days into the invasion, Russia has struggled to achieve any of its aims so far; they have pulled back out of the capital of Kyiv and are now focussing on the eastern region of Donbas. “Unless Russia is able to change its tactics, it's very difficult to see how they succeed in even these limited objectives that they've reset themselves," the source added.
Putin has reportedly appointed General Alexander Dvornikov as the new commander of Russian troops in Ukraine following six weeks of military setbacks and heavy losses capped by humiliating defeat in the Battle for Kyiv pic.twitter.com/xLcZokGe3K— Business Ukraine mag (@Biz_Ukraine_Mag) April 8, 2022
General Dvornikov first joined the Soviet Army in 1978 after graduating from military school.
During Russia's invasion of Syria, General Dvornikov was the first commander of the Russian Armed Forces.
In recognition of his leadership, he was awarded the highest honorary title of the Russian Federation – 'Hero of the Russian Federation' – on 17 March, 2016.
After joining the Southern Military District as acting commander in July 2016, he was promoted to the rank of army general by Putin on 23 June, 2020.
Since Putin first sent troops across the border, his spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has admitted that Russia's losses have been considerable.
Alexander Dvornikov, A Russian general who bombed Syrian cities into the ground has been appointed Russia’s top commander in Ukraine pic.twitter.com/d4tiHQfFx6— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) April 10, 2022
Russia has not only faced harsh sanctions from the West, but there have been reports of soldiers disobeying orders, accidentally shooting down their own planes, and troops injuring their own commanders.
Despite Putin stating that civilians would not be targeted, the tally of civilian deaths has eclipsed that of the 2014 war in Eastern Ukraine.
A recent missile attack on a train station has seen at least 35 people reported dead and more than 100 injured.
Despite the Russian forces' change in leadership, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has contested whether the move will actually provoke any significant change.
He told CNN's 'State of the Union': "This general will just be another author of crimes and brutality against Ukrainian civilians.
"And the United States, as I said before, is determined to do all that we can to support Ukrainians as they resist him and they resist the forces that he commands.”
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
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