Several generals have been removed from command by Russia’s military leaders as the war in Ukraine progresses, Britain’s defense intelligence agency has said.
They include the commander of the General Colonel of the Airborne Forces, Andrei Serdyukov; and commander Southern Group of Forces General of the Army Alexandr Dvornikov, according to the intelligence department of the Department of Defense†
It’s because Ukraine is likely to reconfigure its defenses of the Severodonetsk-Lysychansk sector, in the face of creeping gains by Russian armored units on the southern fringe of the built-up area, Defense added.
It was announced on Friday that Ukrainian troops have been ordered to withdraw from Severodonetsk after weeks of fierce street fighting in order to contain more casualties and regroup.
The move, the biggest strategic loss for Ukraine since the withdrawal from Mariupol, will probably be seen by Russia as a major victory.
The focus of the fighting was expected to shift to Lysychansk, an industrial city of a similar size to Severodonetsk, just a few miles across the Siverskyi Donets River, also in Donbas’ Luhansk Province.
Ukrainian officials said troops in Severodonetsk were ordered to withdraw because there was little to defend in the bombed eastern city.
Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Ukrainian television that “it makes no sense to stay in positions that have been smashed to pieces for many months just to stay there”.
The fate of hundreds of civilians trapped in a chemical plant remains unknown.
South of Lysychansk, Ukrainian soldiers were forced to withdraw from the towns of Hirske and Zolote in the face of overwhelming Russian forces, an adviser to the Ukrainian president said. Volodymyr Zelenskyy†
Ukraine’s foreign minister said the retreat did not mean his country was losing the war, pointing out that Russia had intended to occupy the eastern Donbas region before May 9.
Severodonetsk, Lysychansk and the surrounding areas are the last major Ukrainian pockets of resistance in the Luhansk region – 95% of which are under the control of Russian and local separatist forces.
British PM warns of pressure for peace deal
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he feared Ukraine could come under pressure to negotiate a peace deal with Russia that was not in its interests, due to the economic fallout from the war in Europe.
“Too many countries are saying this is a European war that is not necessary…and so the pressure will increase to encourage – perhaps force – the Ukrainians into a bad peace,” he said.
Mr Johnson, who is in the… Rwandan capital Kigali for a Commonwealth summit, Russian president said Vladimir Putin getting his way in Ukraine would be dangerous for international security and “a long-term economic disaster”.
He underlined his personal support for Ukraine by telling the BBC that if the British government decided that “we would have to give up on the Ukrainian cause because it simply became too difficult and… the cost… was too high in terms of inflation.” .. economic damage” he would resign because he would have accepted that he had “lost a very important argument”†
British Defense Intelligence said General Dvornikov likely served as the general operation commander in Ukraine for a time.
The pair are just the latest officials to have lost their positions as a result of the war’s conduct, according to British intelligence officials, with Lieutenant General Serhiy Kisel, who commanded the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, who has also likely been suspended for his failure to capture Kharkov, and Vice Admiral Igor Osipov, who commanded Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, would likely have been fired for the sinking of the cruiser Moskva in April.
Ukraine has some success in the Kherson region
Command of the Southern Group of Forces (SGF) is likely to be handed over to Colonel General Sergei Surovikin as SGF continues to play a pivotal role in Russia’s offensive in the Donbas, Britain’s defense intelligence agency added.
For more than 30 years, Colonel Surovikin’s career would be dogged by charges of corruption and brutality.
Ukraine’s General Staff reported that its forces had had some success in the Kherson region, pushing back the Russians from defensive positions near the village of Olhine, following the latest in a series of Ukrainian counter-attacks.
Meanwhile, a Russian attack on a military base in Yavoriv, in western Ukraine, injured four people, the governor of Lviv
Maxim Kozitsky said in a video post on Saturday.
Kozitsky said six missiles were fired from the Black Sea, four of which hit their target and two were intercepted
destroyed before attacking the facility.
On Friday, Chairman Zelenskyy told a crowd at Glastonbury via a video link: “We in Ukraine would also like to live life as we used to and enjoy freedom and this beautiful summer, but we cannot do that because the most terrible thing has happened – Russia has stolen our peace.”