Ukraine should brace for more “brutal atrocities” after Russia appointed General Alexander Dvornikov, dubbed as the “Butcher of Syria” in charge of their operations in Ukraine, White House press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday.
“This is a general who is already responsible for overseeing atrocities in Syria. We would expect that there will be a continuation of the type of atrocities that we have already seen take place in Ukraine,” she told reporters.
“We should have no allusions that Russia is going to adjust its tactics and make them less brutal,” she added.
Moscow appointed Dvornikov as the single commander of their operations in Ukraine after the Russian army failed to capture Kyiv and is now focusing their efforts on launching an offensive in the Donbass area in eastern Ukraine.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby expected that Dvornikov would most likely continue “Russian brutality” in Ukraine.
“He and other high-ranking Russian leaders have shown in the past, and particularly in Syria, their contempt for preventing harm to civilians, their utter disregard in many ways for the laws of war, the laws of the armed conflicts and the brutality with which they conduct and prosecute their operations,” Kirby said.
“There is a track record here before Ukraine of Russian brutality… We can certainly say by what we have seen in the past, that we are probably turning another page in the same book of Russian brutality,” he added.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had previously described Dvornikov as a “battle-hardened general, an experienced leader and skilled professional,” when Moscow announced his appointment as the commander of the Russian troops in Syria in 2016.