Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed a new Army General Alexander Dvornikov, commander of Russia's Southern Military District, to lead the war in Ukraine as Moscow's military failed to capture Kyiv. Dvornikov has been named theater commander of Russia's military campaign in Ukraine.
There is speculation that Russia's general has a goal of representing Putin with some battlefield progress ahead of the 'Victory Day' on May 9, CNN reported on Sunday citing Military analysts and US officials familiar with intelligence assessments. May 9 'Victory Day' is the most significant day in Russia as it marks the anniversary of the Soviet Union's triumph over Germany in the Second World War.
The European official described the "Victory Day' as a "self-imposed deadline," and added that it could lead the Russians to make additional mistakes or potentially can lead Russian forces to commit more atrocities, as allegedly happened in the Bucha. According to UK military intelligence update on Saturday, Russia's departure from northern Ukraine shows evidence of non-combatants being disproportionately targeted. United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence says that the Russian troops were withdrawn from northern Ukraine, according to CNN reported on April 8.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's Air Force gave information that 13 Russian aerial targets have been destroyed on Saturday, according to Ukraine's local media outlet. "Ukrainian airforce: 13 Russian aerial targets destroyed. Russia lost five UAVs, four missiles, three airplanes, and one helicopter on April 9, according to the Air Force Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces," The Kyiv independent tweeted. A day earlier, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Saturday. Johnson said that he has traveled to Ukraine to meet President Zelenskyy in person and show solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
"Today I met my friend President @ZelenskyyUa in Kyiv as a show of our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine. We're setting out a new package of financial & military aid which is a testament of our commitment to his country's struggle against Russia's barbaric campaign," Johnson tweeted.