Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, the highest-ranking soldier in the Russian Armed Forces, hardly survived a visit to the front. Shortly after his visit to the command post, Ukrainian missiles reduced him to ashes.
School ’12’ in the forward town of Izyum was converted by the Russian Army into an advanced command post. From here, the generals, along with several of their lieutenants, attempted to map the advance through eastern Ukraine. I tried, because the school was in ruins for a few days. A barrage of Ukrainian missiles hit the building. According to Ukraine, at least 20 officers and a few hundred soldiers were killed. Among them was Major General Andrei Simonov, according to Ukraine, the 10th Russian general was already killed.
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Soon reports of another important general appeared. It is said that Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov was at the site during the attack. Gerasimov is the “generals of the generals”. The Russian army does not have a large soldier. He is the man who planned the invasion with President Putin and Defense Minister Shoigu. According to some Ukrainian sources, he sustained minor injuries after being hit by shrapnel in the thigh. In a reconstruction of the New York Times, an American source stated that Gerasimov had left in time and therefore was unharmed. Russia has not yet reported the incident.
In any case, Gerasimov’s visit is fascinating. The chief of staff usually stays out of the fight. Moreover, Putin only recently appointed a commander in chief with General Alexander Dvornikov. Dvornikov made his mark in Syria, but he may already have ended up in Ukraine. There is no doubt about a quick attack in the Donbass, which makes the victory parade on May 9 unlikely. In addition, a few days after his appointment, the cruiser Moskva sank. Putin might think that Dvornikov could have prevented this.
Enter Gerasimov. Presumably he was up front trying to start the slow progression. “We believe he was there because the military can’t solve certain problems,” an unnamed US source told the New York Times. The Russian army has a strict hierarchy. Perhaps he felt that his presence was compelled to bring generals into order or to raise deteriorating morale.
The attack led to a boycott of Gerasimov’s visit to the MILF. According to another “source”, on Sunday he boarded a plane of the Ministry of Defense in Belgorod and returned to Moscow. It hasn’t been seen there yet.
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