Russian Army General Serhii Surovikin, who was appointed commander of the so-called «Special Military Operation» in Ukraine on October 8, is a «competent and talented» military leader. A senior research fellow at the Rand Corporation think tank, Dara Massicot, was literally showered with compliments on Surovikin in an article published in the British edition of The Telegraph.
An ode to Surovikin on the pages of The Telegraph
The new commander of the «special military operation» Serhiy Surovikin stabilized the front line in Ukraine and disciplined the Russian army. Therefore, he is a «dangerous opponent» for Ukrainians, writes the British newspaper.
«This is probably the most competent commander that Russia has ever had,» — Dara Massicot believes, giving his material an obscenely complementary character.
The author also credits the general with escaping from the only Ukrainian regional center captured during the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation — Kherson. Dara Massicot sees Surovikin’s military genius in the fact that he apparently ensured the bloodless withdrawal of the troops.
In addition, the author believes that it was Surovikin who convinced Vladimir Putin to launch massive strikes on Ukrainian critical infrastructure (which is why the newspaper calls him «General Armageddon»).
At the same time, according to the publication, Surovikin was not appointed for defense, and Putin will expect «greater aggression and greater military success» from him.
First of all, publishing such materials in the conditions of constant crimes of the aggressor state against the peaceful Ukrainian population is like talking about the Nazi regime in Germany and emphasizing the fact that quality roads were built during the time of Adolf Hitler.
Secondly, what kind of military talent can Surovikin be talking about when Russia is waging a war with terrorist methods? However, let’s analyze in more detail what was written in an authoritative British newspaper.
Stabilization of the front line
Of course, 300,000 reservists, placed under the gun as part of the «partial» mobilization, will play their role. However, judging by the interceptions of the conversations of Russian soldiers by the SSU, a significant part of them has already been digested by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the east of Ukraine.
At the same time, the Russian Federation keeps the numbers of the dead in strict secrecy. It is likely to avoid protest moods before a new wave of mobilization, which may start in early 2023.
While the enemy suffers losses and cannot regain control of Bakhmut, Ukraine not only successfully holds the defense but also accumulates forces for future offensives and exhausts the enemy, inflicting as much damage as possible.
Ukrainian military expert Ruslan Forostyak: «In the Swativ-Crimean direction, we have a certain advance almost every day. As far as Bakhmut is concerned, their offensive operation is very active there: they drag the convicts, «Mobics», «and Wagnerians», and suffer heavy losses. At the same time, they do not have significant progress.»
«They are conducting offensive actions in various directions to create mini-cauldrons, but nothing is coming out of them. At the same time, they still have resources — both human and equipment. They are used to fighting exclusively in conditions of numerical superiority,» Forostyak emphasized.
Retreat from Kherson
The only regional center captured during the period of the so-called «SVO» was a kind of symbolic achievement for the Russians, and in the event of a change in the situation at the front, it generally opened up serious prospects for advancing in the southern direction.
A number of influential politicians and high-ranking officials of the Russian Federation announced the historic reunion and that Russia has come to Kherson forever. Propaganda federal channels thoughtlessly carried this message to the masses. And how painful was the epiphany for the Russians, when it became clear that it was impossible to hold the city.
Even some Russian publications with evil irony write about the «regrouping» and «maneuvering» of Russian troops from Kherson (this is the interesting terminology used by the military command of the Russian Federation, justifying the retreat — author), as well as about the serious threat of the loss of Crimea, which arose after the return of the city under the control of the Armed Forces.
At the same time, no one dares to accuse Surovikin of this, shifting all the blame to his predecessor, already the ex-commander of the group of Russian troops «Center» within the framework of the so-called «SVO», Colonel General Lapin. Moreover, the new commander of the «SVO» forces is even credited with saving the lives of Russian soldiers.
There are 2 «buts» here. First, Russian Telegram channels wrote that there were still some losses among personnel. It is not surprising if you imagine the retreat of tens of thousands of soldiers from the positions occupied earlier. Secondly, according to the information of military expert and adviser to the President’s Office, Oleksiy Orestovych, the Russians left dozens of pieces of equipment and a lot of small arms.
Strikes on critical infrastructure
We previously explained why strikes on Ukrainian energy are ineffective from a military point of view. It is only worth adding that the tactics of terror against the civilian population testify to the inability of the Russian command to achieve success at the front.
So we can state that in almost 2.5 months, General Surovikin did not achieve any serious success. Russia continues to fight in numbers, not sparing its soldiers. At the same time, on the hottest direction now — the offensive on Bakhmut — the Russians cannot bring the city back under their control.
The withdrawal of troops from Kherson was rather an obvious step in order to avoid huge losses, which would hardly contribute to the preservation of the city under the control of the Russian Federation anyway. At the same time, the command could not complete the task: retreat without losses. The Armed Forces of Ukraine were able to eliminate a certain part of the grouping of Russian troops during the crossing to the left bank of the Dnieper, and the Russians also lost a significant part of their military equipment
Regular strikes on critical infrastructure cause problems mainly for the civilian population of Ukraine, not for the military. At the same time, the missile reserves of the Russian Federation are running out.
If the situation continues like this (and, as we have understood, there are no prerequisites for a breakthrough at the front), then Surovikin risks repeating the fate of his predecessor, General Lapin. Already the ex-commander of the so-called «SVO» initially received the title of Hero of Russia for the capture of Lysychansk and national recognition, and after the retreat of Russian troops in the Kharkiv region, he turned into the main culprit in all problems. From love to hate — one step.