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Ex-commander of Russian troops in Syria to head Russian Aerospace Forces

November 29, 4:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Since October 2013, Surovikin served as the commander of the Eastern Military District

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© Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Col. Gen. Sergey Surovikin, who earlier led the grouping of the Russian troops in Syria, has been appointed as the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, according to the Defense Ministry’s official newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda.

"In line with the presidential decree dated November 22, 2017, Col. Gen. Sergey Surovikin, who previously served as the commander of the Eastern Military District and until recently led the grouping of the Russian forces in Syria, was appointed to the post of the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces," the paper reported.

Surovikin, 51, has served in the Armed Forces since 1982. He took part in military operations in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Chechnya. In 2008, he graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff.

Since October 2013, Surovikin served as the commander of the Eastern Military District. Since March 2017, he led the Russian military grouping in Syria. According to the Russian Defense Ministry’s official website, he was awarded the title of Hero of Russia for courage and heroism in 2016.

Russian Aerospace Forces were established as a new armed force in 2015 with the merging of the Russian Air Force and the Russian Cosmic Defense Forces. Until September 2017, the Aerospace Forces were led by Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, who currently chairs the Defense and Security Committee of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament.

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