Surovikin’s Replacement as VKS Commander Confirmed

According to Russian state-owned media, Colonel General Viktor Afzalov has been officially appointed as the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS). He has unofficially served in this role as the VKS Chief of Staff since the removal of Surovikin in August.

Unlike Surovikin, who was a ground officer most of his career, Afzalov has made a career in the missile defense forces of the Soviet Union and Russian Federation. While many of his personal details and individual postings in the VKS have not been publicly broadcasted, his professional biography reads below from RusMedia:

“Viktor Afzalov was born on June 9, 1968. In 1989 he graduated from the Pushkin Higher Military School of Air Defense Radioelectronics.

In 2000 he graduated from the Military University of Air Defense, and in 2010 from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

He served in various positions: he went from the head of the crew of the combat control department of a group of anti-aircraft missile divisions of the air defense corps to the chief of staff – first deputy commander of the Air Force and Air Defense Army.

In July 2017, he was appointed commander of the Army of the Air Force (Air Force) and Air Defense (Air Defense) of the Eastern Military District.

In August 2018, he was appointed to the position of Chief of the Main Staff – First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Armed Forces.

In 2020, he temporarily acted as chief of the main headquarters of the Aerospace Forces (VKS) of Russia, when the current head, Sergei Surovikin, was appointed commander of the Joint Group of Forces in the special military operation zone.

In 2022, by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation, he was awarded the rank of Colonel General.”

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.