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Zelenskyy dismisses Ukraine’s army chief Zaluzhnyi, appoints Syrskyi

Following weeks of rumors regarding General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi’s potential dismissal, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced in his evening address the appointment of Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi. Credit: Presidential Office

In a significant military leadership reshuffle, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appointed Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, replacing General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi. The change was officially communicated during Zelenskyy’s evening address on 8 February.

This announcement follows weeks of rumors regarding Zaluzhnyi’s potential dismissal and alleged tensions between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi.

“I have appointed Colonel-General Syrskyi as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Starting today, a new management team will take over the Armed Forces’ leadership,” Zelenskyy said.

The president further elaborated on his decision, revealing that it was informed by numerous discussions with commanders of various ranks, including talks held on the day of the announcement with brigade generals Andriy Hnatov, Mykhailo Drapatyi, Ihor Skybiuk, and colonels Pavlo Palisa and Vadym Sukharevskyi, all considered for leading positions in the army under Syrskyi’s command.

“He has a successful experience in defense — having led the Kyiv defensive operation. He also has a successful experience in the offense — the Kharkiv liberation operation,” Zelenskyy said, highlighting Syrskyi’s credentials.

This appointment marks a pivotal moment in Ukraine’s military strategy amidst Russia’s ongoing invasion, positioning Colonel-General Syrskyi at the forefront of Ukraine’s defense efforts.

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