Putin is tapping into the butcher of Syria to subdue Ukraine

After horrendous battlefield losses and missed targets, Vladimir Putin is concentrating his efforts in Ukraine on the eastern provinces of Donbass. Realizing that neither his original plan for a blitzkrieg against Kyiv nor his plan for multiple operations north, south and east have worked, Russia’s president now appears poised to adopt longstanding wartime principles: simplicity, unity of effort and concentrated logistics . No more adventurous flight operations against airfields. No more hampered convoys or simultaneous but separate attacks on Kharkiv, Mariupol and Sumy. No more disputes between commanders over logistical supplies. Rather, the Russians will pursue a single coordinated effort with initially more limited efforts in Donbass.

Unity of leadership has long been considered a sine qua non for victory. Battlefield orders will no longer emanate from the Kremlin or Moscow, but from a field headquarters. Mr Putin’s recent appointment of General Aleksandr Dvornikov as commander of all armed forces in Ukraine is in line with the principle of unitary leadership. It’s also worrying. Unlike Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, a politician and general, and General Valery Gerasimov, allegedly the designer of the original plan of attack on Ukraine, General Dvornikov is not a staff officer in Moscow. He is a seasoned war veteran previously responsible for operations in Chechnya, Crimea and Armenia. Putin is tapping into the butcher of Syria to subdue Ukraine

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