The Russian military command has changed the leaders in charge of logistics and supply in Ukraine, including because of the growing fear of a Ukrainian counteroffensive in Russia.
According to several prominent Russian milbloggers, Colonel General Aleksey Kuzmenkov, Deputy Head of the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia), has replaced Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev as Deputy Defense Minister of the Russian Federation for Logistics, the Institute for Study of War writes in its latest report. This change in leadership comes as the Russian military is grappling with issues of force generation, troop sustainment, and logistical oversight. A Wagner-affiliated milblogger claimed that Mizintsev’s dismissal might be related to a combat readiness check revealing that troops in certain areas were not receiving necessary weapons.
The Wagner Group has experienced significant issues with the Russian logistics enterprise, and the reported role of Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky in identifying supply problems may indicate a renewed focus on providing Wagner with necessary logistical support. Official Russian sources have not yet confirmed these changes.
The three command organs reportedly receiving new leadership are associated with managing aspects of Russian force generation, troop sustainment, and logistical oversight. The Russian General Staff may be making these changes in response to mounting fears over a Ukrainian counteroffensive and the existing commanders’ failure to properly facilitate Russia’s winter offensive. However, these changes are unlikely to effectively set conditions for Russian forces to respond to a Ukrainian counteroffensive in a timely manner and may be part of a wider effort to reform and formalize the Russian Armed Forces over the long term, ISW believes.
Key takeaways from this report:
- The Russian military command appears to be reshuffling the leadership of command organs associated with force generation, sustainment, and logistics.
- The three command organs that are reportedly receiving new leadership as part of this reshuffle are noteworthy because they are associated with managing aspects of Russian force generation, troop sustainment, and logistical oversight.
- Western officials expressed confidence in Ukraine’s ability to conduct a successful counteroffensive.
- Russian forces are reportedly using new tactics to complicate Ukrainian air defenses’ ability to detect Russian missiles.
- Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov appears to have launched a renewed campaign for national attention.
- Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin met with Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu and Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani in New Delhi, India on April 27.
- Russian forces conducted defensive operations in the Kupyansk direction and limited ground attacks near Kreminna.
- Russian forces did not make any confirmed gains in or around Bakhmut but may be transferring additional reserves to the Bakhmut area.
- Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Russian forces are further militarizing the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) to defend against possible Ukrainian counteroffensive operations.
- The Washington Post reported that leaked US intelligence documents state that Russian military leaders aim to enlist 815,000 soldiers while balancing concerns about critical labor shortages.
- Ukrainian partisans conducted three separate attacks in occupied territories on April 26-27.