Where’s Aleksandr?

Is he dead? Did Putin fire him? Where in the world is Russian General Aleksandr Dvornikov? No one seems to know.

Colonel general Gennady Zhidko (shown here) has reportedly replaced General Aleksandr Dvornikov as head of all Russian forces in Ukraine. Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

According to the Conflict Intelligence Team, or CIT, General Dvornikov has been replaced by Colonel General Gennady Zhidko, former commander of the Eastern Military District and Russia’s deputy defense minister for Military and Political Affairs. In case you were wondering, CIT is an independent investigative organization originating in Russia. They conduct open-source investigations of activities during armed conflicts. Their findings are cited quite often by Ukrainian sources.

“Basically, he is a chief political officer of all Russia,” says Ruslan Leviev, the leader of the CIT.

Not all that long ago, in April, Putin appointed General Dvornikov, aka The Butcher of Syria, as head of all Russian forces in Ukraine for his “special military operation.” Many observers saw this as proof that the military operation in Russia was failing. It was and still is; morale is low, the causality rate is high and Russian soldiers continue to be lacking in basic supplies.

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The New York Times recently reported the following about Dvornikov:

“Soon after his arrival, General Dvornikov tried to get disjointed air and land units to coordinate their attacks, American officials said. But he has not been seen in the past two weeks, leading some officials to speculate as to whether he remains in charge of the war effort.”

CIT has pretty much cleared up that speculation. We now know of the change but are not exactly sure why or of the whereabouts of Dvornikov.

Back in late March, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu went missing for several weeks, arousing more than a bit of suspicion in the press. Sometimes when Russian leaders fail to perform according to Putin’s liking, they seem to vanish. Shoigu, however, resurfaced in due time without offering information as to where he was. The Wall Street Journal had cited credible reports that he had been put under house arrest. Multiple rumors also circulated that he was being treated for heart problems.

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His official Russian webpage mentions nothing of the situation. Other than a poorly written biography, it offers little of anything at all. And this one webpage is, I think, indicative of the problems with the entire Russian government. They just can’t seem to get their s**t together. They are disorganized, with bits of information here and there but not working together towards a cohesive goal or making much sense.

CRUX is asking the same question we are. Video courtesy of YouTube and CRUX.

So, Where Is He?

Honestly, I wish I knew. It would make for a much more satisfying ending to this story. Chances are he’ll turn up later…maybe.

The bigger question here is, “Why did he have to go?” 

I think it is because Russia is committing the same mistakes they have made since the beginning of the war. They’ve made mistake after mistake that caused their plan to capture Kyiv to fail, so they decided to turn to Donbas. Now, sources in the field tell us that their equipment is being “worn down” by the Ukrainian response to the most recent Russian attacks on that region. True, they have captured some territory, but their military’s strength has been reduced by some 20%. Some may consider this to be a Pyrrhic victory.

All we know for sure is that Russian leaders continue to die or disappear and that Putin’s troops are dying at a rate of roughly 100 soldiers daily.