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HomeWorldWhite House expects more brutality in Ukraine as Russian military reorganizes

White House expects more brutality in Ukraine as Russian military reorganizes

The White House is bracing itself for more brutality in Ukraine.

Russia is reportedly appointing Gen. Alexander Dvornikov — the military leader who led the Russian military intervention in Syria — to oversee Moscow’s war efforts in Ukraine, a move that suggests there will be a “continuation” of the death and destruction in the country, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on “Fox News Sunday.”



“The reports we are seeing of a change in military leadership, and putting a general in charge who was responsible for the brutality and atrocities in Syria, shows that there’s going to be a continuation of what we’ve already seen on the ground in Ukraine and that’s what we are expecting,” Psaki said.

The horrid imagery coming out of Ukraine flooded the media last week, from scenes of massacre in Bucha to the mayor of Mariupol putting the number of dead civilians in his city at more than 5,000. The reports from Bucha prompted President Joe Biden to call Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.”

National security adviser Jake Sullivan echoed Psaki’s message on Sunday, running through the atrocities already seen in Ukraine since the war began in February.

“We’ve seen scorched-earth warfare already. We’ve seen atrocities and war crimes and mass killings and horrifying and shocking images from towns like Bucha and rocket attack on Kramatorsk,” Sullivan said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“So, I think this is an indication that we will see more of that.”

The reorganization of Russia’s military comes after forces recently withdrew from Kyiv and surrounding regions, where troops failed to capture the capital. Dvornikov’s elevation could be seen as a warning sign, as the war in Syria was notoriously brutal, particularly in the city of Aleppo. The general is known as the “butcher of Syria,” retired Gen. David Petraeus said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“The Russians were known in Syria basically for — quote — ‘depopulating’ areas. That’s what they did to Aleppo. That’s what they did to other areas,” Petraeus said. “The hallmark of the Russian forces so far has been indiscipline, not discipline. It has been violation of the Geneva Convention and the law of land warfare and so forth. We have seen repeated evidence of that.”

Psaki said the U.S. is reviewing daily requests from the Ukrainians as they determine how else Washington should assist the war effort.

The West has given Ukraine billions of dollars worth of weapons, and more equipment poured in over the weekend to prepare the country for the next phase of the war. Britain announced plans to send missiles that target aircraft, tanks and ships; and Slovakia gave the Ukrainian military a long-range S-300 air defense system, a moved backed by Biden.

“If we can’t meet what they need, we are working with our allies and partners, as we did with the S-300 and the back-filling of that with the Patriot battery this week. We are going to continue to do that so we can equip them on the battlefield and continue the success we’ve seen today,” Psaki said.

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