Aleksandr Vladimirovich Dvornikov is the new general, appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, to take control of its operations in Ukraine.

He is an army general of the Russian Ground Forces and is recognized as a Hero of the Russian Federation. 

The 60-year-old is believed to be the mastermind behind the missile strike on the Kramatorsk railway station in Ukraine, which left at least 50 dead. 

Early life 

Dvornikov, born on August 22, 1961, in Ussuriysk, graduated from the Suvorov Military School there, in 1978. He then joined the Soviet army, receiving further education at the Moscow High Command Training School, from where he graduated in 1982. 

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After that, he served in the Far Eastern Military District, first as a platoon and thereon a company commander. Dvornikov was also the battalion chief of staff. 

Then, in 1991, after graduating from the Frunze Military Academy, he became the deputy battalion commander of the Western Group of Forces.

Russian military career 

Dvornikov, between 1992 and 1994, commanded the 154th Separate Motor Rifle Battalion of the 6th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade.

After this, he became the chief of staff and deputy commander of the 10th Guards Tank Division’s 248th Motor Rifle Regiment, in 1995. 

Dvornikov then transferred to the 1st Guards Motor Rifle Regiment of the 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle Division, in 1997, and took command of the unit in the Moscow Military District. He was also chief of staff and then commander of the 19th Motor Rifle Division between 2000 and 2003 in the North Caucasus Military District. 

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During his career, he was also awarded the Order “For Merit to the Fatherland” 4th class with swords, on May 6, 2000. He also received the Military Academy of the General Staff in 2005. 

In the same year, Dvornikov became deputy commander and chief of staff of the 36th Army in the Siberian Military District. He also commanded the 5th Red Banner Army. Dvornikov served as deputy commander of the Eastern Military District in 2011 too. 

Between May 2012 to June 2016 he was chief of staff and first deputy commander of the Central Military District. After that Dvornikov was acting commander between November and December 2012. 

December 13, 2012, saw him becoming lieutenant general and Dvornikov was promoted to colonel-general two years later. 

A man of ill repute 

Dvornikov is known as the Butcher of Syria for helping president Bashar al-Assad crush enemies during the civil war there. Chemical attacks and indiscriminate airstrikes marked Dvornikov’s military control in Syria, resulting in deadly civilian casualties. 

He took command in September 2015, and for his actions in Syria, Moscow awarded him the honorary title of Hero of the Russian Federation.

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Dvornikov also became the Southern Military District’s acting commander in July 2016. The position was later confirmed for the position on September 20, 2016. 

Acting on Putin’s decree, Dvornikov was promoted to the rank of army general on June 23, 2020. With him in charge of Russia’s special military operations in Ukraine, Moscow is hoping for a quick victory, but if Dvornikov follows the same tactics as in Syria, the civilians in the war-torn eastern European nation could end up paying the price.