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A decision by the Russian Defense Ministry to replace General Sergei Surovokin with Chief of General Staff Valeriy Gerasimov as commander of Russia's war in Ukraine is a sign the Kremlin is aware it is failing to meet its goals in Ukraine, the U.K Defense Ministry said on Jan. 11.
"This is a significant development in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approach to managing the war," the ministry wrote on Twitter.
"The deployment of the (Chief of General Staff) as theatre commander is an indicator of the increasing seriousness of the situation Russia is facing, and a clear acknowledgment that the campaign is falling short of Russia’s strategic goals."
According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, the decision is unlikely to please Russian ultra-nationalists and military bloggers who have blamed Gerasimov for Russia's failures on the battlefield in Ukraine.
By contrast, Surovokin, whose position was reduced to deputy commander, has been praised by those communities for taking a “more realistic approach,” the ministry said.