The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksii Danilov, believes that the appointment of the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Valeriy Gerasimov, as commander of all Russian forces invading Ukraine to replace Sergey Surovikin means that the next 2–3 months will be decisive in the war.
Speaking on the air of the national telethon on Thursday morning, Danilov said that General Surovikin (a minion of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group) has been removed because Moscow raises the stakes.
"Internal tensions in the Russian Federation will only intensify. There will be a war for power in Russia, since Putin is very sick and is getting weaker every day," he said.
Danilov added that it will be important for the Russian authorities to show the population some results of the "year of the great war" by February 24, 2023.
On Thursday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine also stated that frequent personnel changes in the leadership of the occupation forces indicate management problems.
"The latest personnel changes show that there is a need in their ranks to combine management and the system of commanding the troops. Not everything works out for them the way they want," Brigadier General Oleksii Gromov, deputy chief of the Main Operational Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, told reporters.
Yesterday, the Office of the President of Ukraine ridiculed the appointment of Gerasimov instead of Surovikin.
"You may substitute commanders of united groups, but you will have to put up with it until the end. Because... "like it or not, darling"..." adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Mykhailo Podoliak, joked on Twitter.
On Wednesday, January 11, minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoygu replaced Sergey Surovikin as commander of the combined Russian forces in Ukraine by Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff. Surovikin, who held his office for only three months, was demoted to Gerasimov’s deputy.