Russia’s appointment of Army General Alexander Dvornikov as commander of the Ukraine war represents the country’s attempt to centralize command and control, British military intelligence said on Wednesday.
Russia’s inability to cohere and coordinate military activity has hampered its invasion of Ukraine to date, UK’s Ministry of Defense tweeted in a regular bulletin.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 13 April 2022— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) April 13, 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/72z5bPsjSC
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/I3B0nmROkx
Army General Dvornikov’s appointment shows how Ukrainian resistance and Russia’s ineffective pre-war planning is forcing it to reassess its operations, according to the intelligence update.
UK also said Russian messaging has recently emphasized progressing offensives in the Donbas as Russia’s forces refocus eastwards.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the eastern Donetsk region, said he had seen incident reports on possible chemical weapons use in Mariupol but could not confirm them.
The United States and Britain have said they were trying to verify the reports. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said it was closely monitoring the situation.
Chemical weapons production, use and stockpiling is banned under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention.
Russia’s defense ministry has not responded to a Reuters request for comment. Russian-backed separatist forces in the east denied using chemical weapons in Mariupol, the Interfax news agency reported.
The United States is expected to announce $750 million more in military assistance, two officials told Reuters, likely including heavy ground artillery systems to Ukraine, including howitzers, in a sign the war is expected to drag on.