Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the Order of St. George of the third degree to the commander of the Russian group in the zone of the “special operation in Ukraine” Sergei Surovikin.

RIA Novosti reports that Surovikin was awarded “for courage, bravery and selflessness”, and also notes that Putin gave him “a small gift and shook hands.”

Surovikin has been the commander-in-chief of the military space forces of the Russian Federation since 2017. He became the first combined-arms commander in the history of Russia and the USSR to head the VKS (VVS). Surovikin graduated from the Omsk Higher Combined Arms Command School, the Military Academy. Frunze and the General Staff Academy. He served in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Chechnya. Since October 2013, he has been Commander of the Eastern Military District, and since March 2017, he has been in charge of the grouping of Russian troops in Syria. In August last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Surovikin the rank of army general.

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