More than a year after the start of the war in Ukraine, the Russian defense minister is said to have dared to visit the frontline. The background is unclear.
According to information from Moscow, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has visited commanders of his army in the war zone in Ukraine. His ministry announced on Sunday that Shoigu had been informed about the current situation and further plans at the front. The meeting took place at the headquarters of the joint grouping of Russian troops, it said.
In addition to the 67-year-old, the chief of staff and commander of the Russian troops in Ukraine, Valeri Gerasimov, and his deputy Sergei Surovikin were also seen on a silent video.
The Russian Ministry of Defense had previously announced that Shoigu personally checked the work of the Vostok troop group.
What is the purpose of Shoigu’s visit?
The Institute for the Study of War suspects that Shoigu may have tried to estimate Russian losses in the battle for the city of Wuhledar during his visit. Other observers suspect that the visit may be due to Shoigu’s distrust of Gerasimov.
It was announced on Saturday that Shoigu had traveled to the frontline more than a year after Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine began. Accordingly, he also decorated Russian soldiers in Donbass in eastern Ukraine. Video footage released by the Russian Defense Ministry shows Shoigu awarding some medals. It was initially not possible to independently verify how close and whether the Minister of Defense was actually at the front.
Russia suffers heavy casualties in Ukraine
Fierce and extremely bloody fighting is currently raging around the town of Bakhmut in particular. International military observers have repeatedly pointed out that the Russian side in particular is suffering high losses because they are sometimes literally burning their own soldiers as “cannon fodder”.
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