General Aleksandr Dvornikov’s past in the Russian military is exactly why he seems to fit Putin’s desired strategy in Ukraine. He is currently serving as the commander for Russia’s southern military district, which includes regions like Chechnya and Crimea. Dvornikov is well-versed in campaigns involving attacks on civilians and the sewing of chaos. He was the “executioner” in Syria during the mayhem of 2015. Dvornikov played a major role in Russia’s bombardment efforts in the country in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“The way he has conducted combat operations in the past has caused him to be… [perceived as] the kind of executioner we’ve seen prosecute these kinds of campaigns where there’s an awful lot of civilian attacks, civilian destruction, [and] chaos on populations, both in Syria and Grozny,” the retired general said. “So this is the guy who’s going to be asked to deliver success before the [May 9th], Mayday Parade in Moscow.” (Source) To date, it is unclear if Dvornikov will be able to deliver on Putin’s aspirations. This is despite his background and experience, due to the Russian military’s lack of forces in Ukraine’s eastern region. Ukraine has held its own up until now, when it may come into question because of Dvornikov. His predecessor committed suicide. No doubt knowing the brutality he would suffer from Putin as he was considered a failure.
Liz Cheney stated, “I think this clearly is genocide. Europe needs to understand and grapple with the fact that you’ve got a genocidal campaign…I think also that the Europeans need to understand that they’re funding that genocidal campaign. I understand the economic consequences to countries in Western Europe if they were to impose the kind of oil and gas embargo that the U.S. has imposed against Russian oil and gas, but they need to do it.” (Source)
Our allies in Western European nations have been largely aligned with us in imposing strict financial sanctions against the Russian economy and Moscow’s elite, but have been reluctant to swiftly ban imports of Russian energy. This dichotomy is hypocritical and ironic. Russia’s unprovoked aggression on Ukraine has received swift and widespread international condemnation. Just this past Friday, Russian forces came under further scrutiny after one of their missiles struck a train station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, killing at least 50 Ukrainian civilians, who were attempting to flee the war-torn country.
The Russian-led war is likely to end when the problem that Putin caused by starting this war is resolved by fighting on the battlefield by Ukraine unless a cease-fire takes hold. The United States will also be expected to play a leading role in helping Ukraine rebuild its armed forces, its economy, and its shattered cities. At the end of the day, if the United States sent in troops or not, it will cost the United States to rebuild. Either way, the United States will pay.