Facebook Pixel

General Armageddon. What should be expected of Sergey Surovikin, the architect of the October 10–11 missile attacks

General Sergey Surovikin was appointed the overall commander of Russian troops in Ukraine on October 8. Within two days, on October 10–11, Ukraine suffered one of the most massive missile attacks. During its first hours, Russia launched more than 80 missiles of different types on Ukrainian territory.

Russian pro-war blogs rejoiced over the attack and the number of casualties among the Ukrainians. This cheered them up after widespread dismay had prevailed in Russia on October 8, when the Crimean Bridge was blown up.

Who is Sergey Surovikin?

According to The Guardian, Army General Surovikin is a careerist but a resolute military man. In 2017, he was appointed the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, although he had no experience with either aviation or space.

It was he who led the military operation in Syria, and it was under his leadership that the city of Aleppo, with its civilian population, turned into a pile of rubble. Various sources report that 30,000 to 70,000 civilians were killed during this campaign, for which General Sergey Surovikin was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation.

Determination has always been characteristic of him; for example, back at the start of his military career in 1991, then captain Surovikin was the only officer of the Taman Division who ordered to open fire on protesters in Moscow.

By the way, the future general was subject to criminal prosecution for that incident, but later, he was acquitted. There was one more criminal case in the general's biography: in 1995, he was accused of illegal arms dealing and even sentenced to a year in prison. But later he was acquitted, and the conviction was stripped from his record.

What should we expect from the invader general Surovikin?

Surovikin, albeit formally appointed by Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu, is in fact Putin’s creature. According to British intelligence, Putin has been micro-managing the operation in Ukraine for a long time, which has led to numerous failures, discordances, and delays. Surovikin is now tasked with rectifying the situation, restoring control over the troops, and preventing the military collapse facing Russian invasion forces in Ukraine.

This implies maintaining the current position of the frontline until reinforcements consisting of the newly mobilized men start arriving in Ukraine. Then, if he’s able, he’ll try to conduct at least some kind of offensive operation, which can be reported on television to the Russian audience.

However, given the utter lack of modern equipment in the Russian army, as well as major problems with mobilization and the increase in international military assistance for Ukraine, this looks unlikely.

In the coming months, Surovikin will put maximum effort into accomplishing the plan. However, the general’s military successes are rather consequences that resulted from the principal aim.

War on TV: what will Surovikin do in Ukraine?

This is evidenced by the first decisions he made in his new position. In fact, the missile attack on Ukraine had been planned long before the appointment of the new commander. It probably should have been launched only when the weather was cold enough, so that disruption of critical infrastructure would have caused the maximum damage to the Ukrainians. However, the hasty attack was carried out while the temperature was still above zero and only wasted expensive missiles on "strategic" road intersections and playgrounds. The media coverage of the aftermath will, of course, speed up the provision of state-of-the-art air defense systems to Ukraine and make it impossible to carry out a truly devastating attack on the infrastructure in winter.

All this seems to not bother Surovikin because he accomplished the main task perfectly: only two days after the Crimean Bridge was blown up, this news was overshadowed by a picture of the bombing of Ukrainian cities. Which, in fact, was the true aim of Surovikin and his patron, as they managed to improve the mood of their electorate in just two days.

This is how the new commander will wage the war: with no regard for anything, for the sake of a TV picture directed at the internal audience, the preservation of his patron’s power being his ultimate aim.

P.S. When Putin made a televised address during the massive missile attack on Ukrainian cities, most viewers probably missed an important passage. According to Putin, the missile attack, the fruits of which the dictator reaped during the speech, was carried out "at the proposal of the Ministry of Defense and according to the plan of the General Staff." What it actually meant was that, should anyone be held accountable for the attack in the International Criminal Court or elsewhere, it would be Surovikin and his colleagues, not Putin, who appointed him. This detail speaks volumes.

Join us on social networks!
Thank 🎉