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Ukrainian military undergoing structural changes for improved efficiency, army chief says

The General Staff of the Ukrainian army is set to be reduced by 60%, with released personnel being redeployed to combat units.
Russian forces outgun Ukraine 6-to-1, new military chief says
Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi. Photo: Syrskyi via Facebook
Ukrainian military undergoing structural changes for improved efficiency, army chief says

Oleksandr Syrskyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has announced changes in the Ukrainian army: functions of the General Staff will be cut down and drone forces will continue to be developed.

When Syrskyi took over the position of commander-in-chief from Valeriy Zaluzhnyi in February 2024, he inherited a number of institutional problems. Particularly, Zaluzhnyi was criticized for failing to tackle bureaucracy, not reforming the army, and tolerating “virtual” generals and colonels who knew about the frontline situation only on paper.

The changes could lead to improvements to Ukraine’s mobilization situation amid a lack of manpower on the frontline.

“We continue to improve the structures of military command. Our main task is to make the system of command of troops more effective and to exclude the duplication of functions,” Syrskyi stated in a Telegram post.

The Commander-in-Chief noted that these measures are being carried out as part of the implementation of the strategy for the development of branches and separate types of troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine until 2035.

“In this context, the formation of the Forces of Unmanned Systems continues, as well as the reduction of the staff of the General Staff,” he said, adding that the General Staff is also being stripped of “unnecessary functions,” which he says strengthens the bodies that command troops directly in combat areas.

“Our goal, despite the Russian aggression, is to create a promising structure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the period before joining NATO,” Syrskyi said.

In February-March 2024, the General Staff conducted a functional study on optimizing the staff of some structural units and military command bodies, as reported by Yevheniy Ostrianskyi, the head of the Main Directorate of Defense Planning of the General Staff, in late May. He announced a 60% reduction in the General Staff, with some of the released military personnel being sent to combat units.

Following Syrskyi’s appointment as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to the head of the President’s Office, said that the Ukrainian leadership expects him to conduct an “audit” of military personnel. Out of 1 million mobilized individuals, only up to 300,000 took part in actual combat operations, according to Podoliak.

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