Alexander Dvornikov, Commander of the Russian Forces in Ukraine “The Butcher of Syria”


On Sunday, Russian General Alexander Dvornikov became the first leader of all armed forces in Ukraine. The appointment of a soldier known to have led Russia’s strategy of bombing Syria raises fears that civilian abuse could escalate.

From the suburbs of Grozny in Chechnya to the heart of Aleppo in Syria, he has a sulfur reputation as a soldier who is willing to do anything to achieve his goals. Some even gave him the nickname of the US General and former CIA chief David Petraeus. “Syrian Butcher” For his key role during the Russian military campaign in Syria. From now on, General Alexander Dvornikov will deal with the war in Ukraine.

This soldier, highly respected by Vladimir Putin and feared by his opponents, was appointed on Sunday 10 April to coordinate operations in Ukraine. The presumption of this duty has not been officially announced by Moscow, but it has been confirmed to several Anglo-Saxon media by US military sources.

Man of difficult circumstances

The Washington Post notes that this is the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 that the entire armed forces have been led by a single commander. Previously, each front (north, south and east) had a common. Souligne l’Institute for the Study of WarAn Influential U.S. Military Analysis Blog.

Experts from the Institute for War Research believe that the restructuring should make it possible to “resolve interpersonal problems that represent one of the weaknesses of Russian military action in Ukraine.”

Alexander Dvornikov The choice to carry out activities in the field can be justified entirely from a geographical point of view. This general actually manages the southern district of the Russian army, which, among other things, depends on Crimea and, above all, the Donbass.

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Precisely, after failing to capture the capital Q, Russian forces retreated to focus on the new priority of Russian civil servants: to “protect” the Donetsk and Luhansk republics in the Donbass, its independence. Recognized by Moscow three days before the invasion of Ukraine.

So Alexander Dvornikov must have known the land better than anyone. But the 60-year-old general has a reputation for being a man of tough circumstances and a “real heavyweight in the military,” as Russian military affairs expert Mark Kaliotti underscores. Washington Post interview.

Reputation gained during the war in Syria. Previously, Alexander Dvornikov pursued a serious military career, but without any specific weapons. He “attended all the good training schools and was assigned to both the infantry and the air force”, Reminiscent of the Guardian.

In 2015, everything changed, and Alexander Dvornikov became the first leader of the Russian Allied Forces in Syria. At the time, the power of Bashar al-Assad, one of Vladimir Putin’s key allies in the region, was under the control of opposition parties and jihadists in the Islamic State. .

It was Alexander Dvornikov who developed and then used intensive bombing strategy in several Syrian cities. In the guise of targeting Islamist militants, the approach also weakens the positions of anti-Assad insurgents.

The intensity of the indiscriminate bombings?

This strategy, which involves building a former Nihilo air base in Hemimim in the west of the country, proves to Moscow that “Alexander Dvornikov knows how to adapt to new circumstances,” emphasizes Mark Kaliotti.

It does so much regardless of the citizens. The Russian Air Force has not hesitated to drop repeated bombs on buildings such as hospitals or schools, creating an atmosphere of terror in targeted Syrian cities. These indiscriminate strikes earned him the reputation of being at least a soldier, and The Guardian underlined that he would do nothing to achieve his goal.

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This is where he got the nickname “Butcher of Syria”. This tool of civilian life does not seem to have bothered Vladimir Putin. Instead, the Russian president recalled his general from Syria in March 2016 and presented him with the award for giving him the southern district of the Russian military – one of the most important in the country, especially in charge of Crimea, Ukraine and Chechnya. Hero of the Russian Federation Medal, one of the most valuable.

“He is the beast that Vladimir Putin calls when he wants to destroy a city like Aleppo. He is one of the worst in the Russian military,” said former U.S. Admiral James Stavridis. Interviewed by NBC.

As for this retired soldier, Alexander Dvornikov has been appointed head of all forces involved in Ukraine, saying that other atrocities against civilians are to be expected. He will have the same road map as in Syria: use all possible means to reverse the difficult military situation.

“I think Alexander Dvornikov’s CV – which includes atrocities against civilians – should be expected to become even more abusive in Ukraine,” said Jack Sullivan, a U.S. national security adviser. ”CBS.

The Kremlin in particular wants quick results. Vladimir Putin wants victory just before May 9, the date of the grand military parade in Moscow to mark the end of World War II.

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