Putin hands charge of Ukraine invasion to feared army general amid health doubts

A drastic change has been made to Russia's military structure due to disappointment in the performance by Russian troops in the war against Ukraine.

General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, was announced as the new commander of the unified group of forces in Ukraine, by Russia's Defense Ministry.

He replaced Gen. Sergei Surovikin, who now becomes Gerasimov's deputy alongside two other generals.

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While the change was officially ordered by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, it's reported that the final order came from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Defense Ministry put out a statement explaining the decision made and what it looks to improve during the conflict that has been ongoing for 11 months.

It read: "Raising the level of leadership of the special military operation is linked to the expansion of the scale of the tasks being fulfilled as part of it and the need to organise closer interaction between branches of the military and to increase the quality of supplies and the efficiency of directing groups of forces."

Despite Surovikin initially being praised for his leadership and work in gaining control of Russian forces in Ukraine, his demotion illustrates that Putin wasn't exactly delighted with his performance as top dog.

Surovikin was appointed in October and it wasn't long before Russian troops were forced to pull back from the southern city of Kherson as they were at risk of a counteroffensive from the Ukrainians.

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Amid the conflict between the two nations, a Kremlin propagandist made chilling comments on Russia's ability to wipe off certain European countries from the map.

Vladimir Solovyov was seen talking with Russian Duma member Andrey Gurulyov on Russian state TV talking about pre-emptive strikes against France.

The latter said: "Macron supplies the tanks and we give them a pre-emptive strike against France as a party to the conflict."

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