Russian President Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin alongside General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov
Since General Valery Gerasimov has taken command, the MOD said officers have been trying to clamp down on "non-regulation uniform, travel in civilian vehicles, the use of mobile phones, and non-standard haircuts" (Picture: Reuters/Alexander Ermochenko).
Russia

Russia's new commander in Ukraine criticised for being 'out of touch', MOD says

Russian President Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin alongside General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov
Since General Valery Gerasimov has taken command, the MOD said officers have been trying to clamp down on "non-regulation uniform, travel in civilian vehicles, the use of mobile phones, and non-standard haircuts" (Picture: Reuters/Alexander Ermochenko).

The newly appointed Russian commander in Ukraine has "likely started his tour with a drive to improve deployed troops' day-to-day discipline", according to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Since General Valery Gerasimov, also Russia's Chief of the General Staff, has taken command, the MOD said officers have been trying to clamp down on "non-regulation uniform, travel in civilian vehicles, the use of mobile phones, and non-standard haircuts".

"The measures have been met with sceptical feedback. However, some of the greatest derision has been reserved for attempts to improve the standard of troops' shaving," the MOD said.

"Officials in the Donetsk People’s Republic, described the prioritisation a 'farce' that would 'hamper the process of destroying the enemy'.

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"Wagner proxy group owner, Yevgeny Prigozhin criticised military leadership, suggesting that, 'war is the time of the active and courageous, and not of the clean-shaven."

The MOD said Russian forces continue "to endure operational deadlock and heavy casualties".

"Gerasimov's prioritisation of largely minor regulations is likely to confirm the fears of his many sceptics in Russia," the MOD said.

"Along with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, he is increasingly seen as out of touch and focused on presentation over substance."