Lieutenant General Nikiforov will be the 4th person to have taken this position since the invasion of Ukraine began; his predecessor only held the position for three months.
This change in leadership has seemingly inspired some new strategic decisions, according to the UK Ministry of Defense, as a new wave of long-range strikes targetting power distributors launched on the 29th of December. It is thought that the aim of the attacks is to diminish Ukrainian morale for the New Year.
Ukrainian air defense reportedly shot down 45 Russian kamikaze drones during last night’s New Year’s Eve attack. Some drones even came complete with “Happy New Year” holiday greetings pic.twitter.com/SGeUMRc7q5— Business Ukraine mag (@Biz_Ukraine_Mag) January 1, 2023
Allegedly, 45 Russian drones have been downed with the message "Happy New Year" inscribed.
Lieutenant General Yevgeny Nikiforov
In his previous role, Nikiforov led the offensive on Kyiv. Some would call the promotion controversial as Lieutenant General Nikiforov is alleged to be partly responsible for failed attempts by the Eastern Group of Forces to advance into Kyiv via the toxic Chornobyl area.
The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine reported that Lieutenant General Nikiforov joined the Kolomen Higher Artillery Command School when he was 21 and graduated in 1991. This allowed him to become a commander of the artillery platoon, antitank battery, artillery battalion EO, commander of the paratrooper battalion of the 83rd separate air assault brigade of the Far Eastern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces
Following this, he attended the Combined Arms Academy of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and graduated in 2005. Post-graduation, for the next 5 years he achieved the role of commander of the 83rd separate air assault brigade of the Far Eastern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces.
To conclude his formal military education, he attended the Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and graduated in 2012. After graduating, he became deputy commander of the 58th Army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces but remained in the position for only 2 years.
As of yet, it is unclear if the new head of WGF will show the same disregard for civilian lives as his predecessor was notable for.
Roman Meitav contributed to this report.