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A Russian general whose troops have been besieging the Ukrainian port of Mariupol was buried on Saturday in St. Petersburg after dying in battle, the governor said. Maj. Gen. Vladimir Frolov was deputy commander of the 8th Army, which Russian media identified as being among the forces battering Mariupol for weeks. Governor Alexander Beglov released a statement saying Frolov died a heroic death in battle without saying where or when he was killed. Photographs on Russian news websites showed his grave at a St. Petersburg cemetery piled high with red and white flowers. Ukraine has claimed that several Russian generals and dozens of other high-ranking officers have been killed during the war.
After its striking post-invasion setbacks, Russia has appointed a new Ukraine war commander, a US official said Sunday. Russia turned to Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, 60, one of Russia’s most experienced military officers and, according to US officials, a general with a record of brutality against civilians in Syria and other war theatres. Up to now, Russia had no central war commander on the ground.
The decision to establish new battlefield leadership comes as Russia gears up for what is expected to be a large and more focused push to expand Russian control in Ukraine’s east and south, including the Donbas, and follows a failed opening bid in the north to conquer Kyiv, the capital.
Dvornikov gained prominence while leading the Russian group of forces in Syria, where Moscow has waged a military campaign to shore up President Bashar Assad’s regime during a devastating civil war.