The poor performance of Russia’s armed forces during its invasion of Ukraine appears to have led to a shakeup in command, the British Defense Ministry said Sunday.
Gen. Aleksandr Vladimirovich Dvornikov, who had been charged with overall command of the operation in Ukraine, was removed from his post last week, the ministry said. General-Colonel Aleksandr Zhuravlev, who had commanded Russia’s Western Military District since 2018, was absent from Russia’s Navy Day in St Petersburg a week ago and has likely been replaced, the ministry said in its assessment of the war.
Another general was relieved of command of Southern Grouping Forces, the ministry said.
“These dismissals are compounded by at least 10 Russian Generals killed on the battlefield in Ukraine,” the assessment said. “The cumulative effect on consistency of command is likely contributing to Russian tactical and operational difficulties.”
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►U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began his three-nation tour of Africa on Sunday in South Africa, one of several countries in the continent that have remained neutral regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine. In recent weeks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French President Emmanuel Macron have also visited Africa, seeking to gain support for their positions on the war.
►Five civilians have been killed in recent Russian and separatist attacks on cities in the Donetsk region, the part of Donbas still under Ukrainian control, regional governor Serhiy Haidai reported.
►The city of Mykolaiv, an important shipbuilding center close to Ukraine’s largest port in Odesa, is now facing daily Russian bombardments, local officials say.
►The Russian invasion that started Feb. 24 “is about to enter a new phase” in which the fighting would shift west and south along a 217-mile line that extends from near the city of Zaporizhzhia to Russian-occupied Kherson, Britain’s Defense Ministry said.
One prominent senator from each party is pushing the Biden administration to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism over its invasion of Ukraine, and they’re jointly taking their case to the airwaves.
Democrat Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, both with more than a decade in the Senate, told CNN on Sunday that if President Joe Biden doesn’t get behind the designation, they would work toward getting Congress to pass a bill issuing one. Typically such designations are made by the State Department.
“I hope the president will decide to adopt this stance voluntarily, and he hasn’t taken it off the table,” Blumenthal said.
Graham, who served in the Senate with Biden, was more pointed in trying to coax the president to put more pressure on Russia by adding it to the USA’s current list of state sponsors of terrorism, which includes Iran, North Korea, Syria and Cuba. Inclusion on the list would trigger four categories of sanctions.
“Whether or not we have to do legislation to make it happen – we’re willing to,” Graham said. “I am…