With personnel changes, the Russian dictator Putin is trying to shift the blame for the recent military failures of the Russian army in the Kharkiv region. This was reported by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
In the Western Military District of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, Lieutenant General Roman Berdnikov replaced Colonel General Oleksandr Zhuravlev as commander.
According to ISW's preliminary assessment, ZVO units mainly operated in the north-east of Kharkiv region, but without a clearly defined commander. Zhuravlev was not visible for some time, so Putin changed two commanders of the Western group of troops in two weeks.
As noted, the Russian president is probably trying to redirect the growing anger of Russians over the losses in the Kharkiv region and Lyman by appointing a "new person" to the leadership position. The announcement may also be an attempt to shield Colonel General Alexander Lapin, the commander of the Central Military District (CMD), from criticism for Russia's recent failures around the Liman.
"Putin may try to shift the blame for future Russian losses in the Kharkiv and possibly Luhansk regions to Berdnikov. Lapin's criticism in recent days has been a catalyst for a broader disruption in the Russian nationalist information space, and Berdnikov's appointment is likely intended to reduce and redirect growth dissatisfaction", analysts conclude.