More than a week ago, the CIT team learned from Russian soldiers that General Dvornikov was no longer in charge of "the military operation" in Ukraine. He has been replaced by General Gennady Zhidko, who is the former commander of the Eastern Military District, and now is the head of the Main Military-Political Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces.
“Basically, he is a chief political officer of all Russia,” says Ruslan Leviev, the leader of the CIT.
Leviev notes that he doesn’t know the reasons behind the removal of General Dvornikov from his position.
“It could be a result of a casual rotation. We saw the Russians doing the same thing in Syria" says Leviev.
Earlier, the NYT reported that there were doubts whether Dvornikov was still in charge of Russia's troops in Ukraine since he has not been seen for the past two weeks.
Dvornikov was in charge of the Russian troops in Syria from September 2015 to June 2016.
Journalists and experts dubbed him "The Syrian Butcher" for his warfare tactics, which involved a large number of civilian casualties.