Russia has replaced the general in charge of its trouble-plagued war against Ukraine, amid signs of dissension among President Vladimir V. Putin’s top allies — a shake-up that critics said would not address what ails the Russian military.
Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, whose appointment the Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday, is a longtime Kremlin ally, chief of the military general staff since 2012, and an executor of the failed plan for the initial invasion in February. It was the second time in just three months that the ministry replaced the chief of the war effort.
Outside analysts and hawkish Russian war bloggers said the change was a far cry from the radical overhaul the Russian armed forces need to become more effective.
On Tuesday, Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary force, said that his troops had seized control of Soledar, posted online a photo of himself with some of the soldiers in what he said was the town’s famous salt mine, and made a point of claiming that only Wagner fighters had been battling there on behalf of Russia.