The Russian general began to act: the strategy includes the use of chemical weapons …
“Worst of all”: After being appointed last week as the new commander of the Russian campaign in Ukraine, in order to increase coordination between all factors and units and bring results, General Alexander Dvornikov began to implement his rigid strategy. The man who has been nominated for the post of Chief of Staff of the Russian Army and has earned the nickname “the butcher from Syria” is notorious for the brutal fighting methods he is leading, and now there are fears that they are being carried out in Ukraine as well.

The besieged Mariupol. Fear of Russian use of chemical weapons | Photo: Reuters

According to reports in the West, on the orders of Dvornikov, the Russian army used chemical weapons in the port city of Mariupol. “He is the one who Vladimir Putin summoned to subdue cities like Aleppo in Syria,” said former U.S. Admiral James Stovridis. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zalansky, Russia’s use of chemical weapons was intended to strike a final blow at Mariupol – most of which were destroyed but its residents did not give up for weeks.

Dvornikov, 60, was the first commander of the Russian campaign in Syria, which began in September 2015. He commanded it until June 2016, and is considered the most significant factor leading the siege of the city of Aleppo, which was shelled, completely destroyed, suffered huge losses, and fell to the Syrian government in December 2016. .

Sources in US intelligence say the decision to appoint Dvornikov as commander of the campaign stems from the Russian military’s failure to quickly take over Ukraine – the main target set by President Putin. Former Admiral Stevaridis explained: “The appointment of a new general, and especially the ‘Butcher from Syria’, indicates Vladimir Putin’s intention to continue this conflict for months, if not years.”


Residents in the ruins of besieged Mariupol (Photo: Reuters)
The ruins in Mariupol. The Russian general is expected to break the spirits of the residents | Photo: Reuters
Destruction caused by a vacuum bomb in Syria in 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
The ruins in Syria | Photo: Reuters

There are also elements who believe that the appointment of the cruel general is an attempt to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people in the face of the reputation they have gained, as cruel to citizens. “He cooperated with the Syrian forces and used terrorist tools throughout the period: torture centers, systematic rape and the use of nerve gas. He is the worst of them all,” Stuvridis claimed.

“He cooperated with the Syrian forces – he is the worst of them all”

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan alluded to Dvornikov’s appointment. “No appointment of any general will erase the fact that Russia has already faced a strategic failure in Ukraine. The next general will simply be another one who commits cruel crimes against the citizens of Ukraine.”

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Russian forces may have used chemicals in an attack on Mariupol residents. “We are working with our partners to verify the details,” she said. “Any use of such weapons means a scary escalation. Putin and his regime will be held accountable.” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby also referred to the alarming reports. “We are aware of reports that Russian forces have deployed potential chemical ammunition in Mariupol. We cannot confirm at this stage, but we will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

U.S. National Security Adviser"In Jake Sullivan (Photo: Reuters)
“There will be another one who commits cruel crimes.” Jake Sullivan | Photo: Reuters

Dvornikov oversaw the Russian air campaign in Syria, which carried out more than 9,000 aerial bombardments. Russian fighter jets attacked rebel-held cities, such as Aleppo and Homs, killed dozens of civilians and waged war in favor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In October 2016, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zaid Raed al-Hussein, described Aleppo as a “slaughterhouse” and as a terrifying place of pain and fear where the lifeless bodies of small children were trapped under the rubble. Pregnant women were also deliberately bombed, “he said.

Meanwhile, British intelligence believes that the fighting in Ukraine will escalate in the next three weeks, during which Russia is expected to focus its efforts in the east of the country. “Russian attacks will focus on Ukrainian positions near Donetsk and Lugansk, alongside fighting in the Kherson, Nikolayev and Kramatorsk regions. The Russian army has withdrawn from Belarus to redeploy and support forces in eastern Ukraine,” the British intelligence report said.

Russian attack on Kherson (Photo: TASS)
Russian forces on their way to Kherson. Expected to return soon | Photo: TASS

Mark Gallouti, a senior British policy researcher, claims that so far, the battle in Ukraine has been led by three commanders competing with each other, indicating that Putin and a handful of his former allies in the KGB conducted the campaign alone, but realized it did not work and that it was time to let the Russian army fight As he is trained to do. “Upon taking office, Dvornikov made a number of changes to the command structure: he replaced the three commanders who had so far led the campaign – and is expected to be a centralized general who will lead the renewed campaign in the Donbas area in his spirit.

Like the others, Galauti also believes that the appointment of Dvornikov is part of a broader move, during which Russia will stop trying to fight on three fronts and focus on the conquest of the Donbas region. According to him, Donbas is a “logical and achievable goal”. Former US General Barry McPhree believes: “Putin’s army intends to intimidate civilians – this is their main tool,” he added: “.

“Dvornikov was the first Russian commander in Syria to win the Russian Federation Hero Award for dropping bombs on defenseless civilians.”

The war in Ukraine (Photo: Reuters)
The war is expected to escalate soon | Photo: Reuters
Ukrainian forces after the release of Bocha (Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt, getty images)
The atrocities after the release of Bocha | Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt, getty images

However, the new policy is not limited to the use of chemical weapons and changes in the top command. In Ukraine, many rapes and executions have been reported by the Russian military, before they left the suburbs of the capital Kyiv. A senior UN official, Sima Bahaus, told the Security Council that while all allegations must be independently investigated, “the cruelty taken against Ukrainian citizens waved all the red flags.”

The atrocities perpetrated by the Russians in Ukrainian cities came to the forefront of global attention last week, after Ukrainian forces recaptured the town of Bocha near the capital Kyiv. Residents of the area described arbitrary murders, rape, looting and other atrocities allegedly committed by Russian soldiers during the five weeks the city was under their control.

Bodies of a Ukrainian family removed from a grave (Photo: SERGEI CHUZAVKOV, AFP)
A mass grave in Bocha | Photo: SERGEI CHUZAVKOV, AFP

Moscow denied and denied the allegations. Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations has accused Ukraine and its allies of “making clear intent to portray Russian troops as sadists and rapists.”

By Editor

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