“The reports we are seeing of a change in military leadership and the appointment of a general responsible for the brutality and atrocities in Syria show that there is going to be a continuation of what we have already seen on the ground in Ukraine. and that’s what we expect,” Psaki said.
The gruesome images from Ukraine flooded the media last week, from scenes of a massacre in Bucha to the mayor of Mariupol putting the number of civilian dead in his city at more than 5,000. Bucha’s reports prompted President Joe Biden to call Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal”.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan echoed PSAki’s message on Sunday, reviewing the atrocities already seen in Ukraine since the war began in February.
“We have already seen the scorched earth war. We’ve seen atrocities and war crimes and massacres and horrible, shocking images of cities like Bucha and rocket attacks on Kramatorsk,” Sullivan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“So I think that’s an indication that we’ll see more of that.”
The reorganization of the Russian military comes after the recent withdrawal of forces from kyiv and surrounding areas, where troops failed to capture the capital. Dvornikov’s rise could be seen as a warning sign, as the war in Syria was notoriously brutal, especially in the city of Aleppo. The general is known as the “butcher of Syria,” retired General David Petraeus said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
“The Russians were known in Syria mainly for – I quote – “depopulation” areas. That’s what they did in Aleppo. That’s what they’ve done in other areas,” Petraeus said. “Until now, the hallmark of the Russian forces has been indiscipline, not discipline. This was a violation of the Geneva Convention and the laws of land warfare, etc. We have seen repeated evidence of this.
PSAKI said the United States was reviewing Ukrainian demands daily as it determined how Washington should help the war effort.
The West gave Ukraine billions of dollars worth of weapons, and more equipment was poured in over the weekend to prepare the country for the next phase of the war. Britain announced its intention to send missiles targeting planes, tanks and ships; and Slovakia gave the Ukrainian army a long-range S-300 air defense system, a Biden-backed initiative.
“If we can’t meet their needs, we’re working with our allies and partners, like we did with the S-300 and filling it with the Patriot battery this week. We will continue to do so so that we can equip them on the battlefield and continue the success we have had today,” Psaki said.