One of Russia’s top generals is under pressure after arguing for forces to retreat, a report said. Sergei Surovkin, nicknamed “General Armageddon” by Russian media, recommended Russian forces retreat form Kherson and the west bank of the Dnipro River earlier this month.

The withdrawal was completed within two days, Sky News reported, adding that the general argued that it would allow Moscow to save equipment and redeploy the forces there – estimated by the US to be 30,000-strong – to offensives elsewhere.

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Some of those troops have since been moved from southern to eastern Ukraine, where fierce fighting is raging but the Hero of Russia recipient is now under pressure to show this bet will work out for Moscow.

Sergei Surovkin veteran of wars in Chechnya and Syria, who has been decorated by President Vladimir Putin, is also being asked by some to step up Moscow’s bombing campaign of Ukrainian energy infrastructure, a tactic the Kremlin has suggested is designed to bring Ukraine to the negotiating table.

Vladimir Solovyov, one of Russia’s most famous ultra-nationalist political TV talk show hosts, said last week, “I appeal to the Hero of Russia Army General Surovikin: Comrade Army General, I ask you to complete the total destruction of energy infrastructure of the Nazi Ukrainian junta.”

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