Congressman and Democrat Jason Crow said during a press conference in Kyiv on 9 February that the US supports President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s right to dismiss Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi from his post as “Zelensky seeks renewal and a different approach” in the war against Russian aggression.
On 8 February, Zelesnkyy replaced General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi as Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces after over two years.
“The United States and Ukraine share a common value: civilian control of the military. And that is a time-tested value that is very important for any democracy. Within that, civilian leaders have the right and responsibility to choose those [military] leaders to move forward,” said Democrat Jason Crow.
Crow said after two years of the war against Russian aggression, “We understand that President Zelenskyy is looking for renewal and a different approach, which is certainly within his rights. And we support that right.”
The Congressman also conveyed the American people’s “deep gratitude and thanks” to General Zaluzhnyi for his leadership in Ukraine’s defense over the past two years, praising him for having “done exceptionally” and for deserving “accolades for his leadership, there is no doubt about it.”
On 8 February, President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed Zaluzhnyi and appointed Oleksandr Syrskyi as the new chief commander.
This announcement follows weeks of rumors regarding Zaluzhnyi’s potential dismissal and alleged tensions between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi.
Zaluzhnyi led the country’s military since July 2021, having earned the great trust of Ukrainians. The recent poll showed that Zaluzhnyi has a 92% trust rating, and most Ukrainians (72%) would disapprove of him being replaced.
On 9 February, a bipartisan delegation of the US Congress, led by House Intelligence Committee Chair Republican Mike Turner, arrived in Kyiv, the US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink said on X.
The delegation, which included Republicans French Hill and Zach Nunn and Democrats Jason Crow and Abigail Spanberger, assured Ukraine’s capital of America’s continued support even as further military aid remains stalled in Congress.