No one in Russia is allowed to say that the war against Ukraine (or even that it is a war) has failed because, unlike Putin’s war against Chechnya, it was wrongly conceived in terms of strategy and completely mistaken in its core assumption about the people it was intended to conquer. So, as under Stalin, the fault must lie not in the policy of the great leader (which is impossible, of course) but in the execution. The mismanagement of the war in Ukraine, it is believed, lies at the root of elusive victory.
No one was in overall responsibility for the four fronts. There was no proper coordination between those in separate command. Decisions had to be referred to the General Staff, which is, of course, a long way from the front. And it took precious time. For this reason Putin appointed the 56 year old General Sergei Surovikin to take charge of the entire enterprise and shake everything up. The main reason for choosing him is his reputation for taking “harsh and unconventional decisions” in war, evidenced by two tours in Syria and his conduct in Ukraine, where his men suffered fewer losses than under other commands; no doubt also, because he is a bear of a man. It is obvious that his mother never had to tell him to sit up straight at the dinner table. He is every image of a Russian general, a Siberian at that, which means that he won’t always follow orders. Putin evidently thinks it worth taking the risk.
Source of information: Komsomol’skaya pravda, 8 October 2022