The UK Defense Intelligence Community believes that the change in leadership of Russia's military campaign in Ukraine is indicative of the challenges Russia is facing in achieving its goals. This is stated in the UK Department of Defense intelligence review.
Replacement of the commander of the so-called «combined group of forces» Russia in Ukraine from Sergei Surovikin to the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov is characterized there as a «significant change in the approach of Russian President Vladimir Putin to managing the war».
« ;The appointment of the Chief of the General Staff as commander of the theater of operations is an indicator of the growing seriousness of the situation facing Russia, and a clear recognition that the campaign does not correspond to the strategic goals of the Russian Federation», — the review says.
British intelligence believes the move “is likely to be met with great displeasure by much of Russia's ultra-nationalist and military blogging community, which increasingly accuses Gerasimov of mishandling the war” #187;.
«In contrast, Surovikin has received widespread support from this community for advocating a more realistic approach. Since he is now the second-in-command, his authority and influence has almost certainly been greatly diminished», — concluded in the department.
- Gerasimov became the new commander of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Surovikin was demoted.
- Podolyak commented on the demotion of Surovikin and his replacement by Gerasimov.