The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyhas dismissed the commander in chief of the Armed Forces, Valeri Zaluzhniwho will be replaced in office by the hitherto commander of the Land Forces, Oleksandr Sirski.
“I thank General Zaluzhni for the two years of protecting the country. I am grateful for every victory we achieved together and thanks to all the Ukrainian soldiers who fight heroically in this war,” Zelensky said in a video posted on Telegram.
Changes in the Armed Forces
The president emphasizes that both spoke frankly about what needs to change in the Armed Forces, changes that he described as “urgent” when the front is practically stagnant.
Zelensky suggested to Zaluzhni, with whom he published a photograph in which both shake hands and the dismissed general makes the victory sign with his fingers, that “in the future he be on the team of the Ukrainian state“.
The dismissal comes after days of speculations about this possibility and even information that Zelensky had already informed Zaluzhni two weeks ago, but that he had rejected another position.
Colonel General Sirski, new commander in chief of the Armed Forces
The Ukrainian president has announced in his video message who appointed Colonel General Sirski as the new commander in chief of the Armed Forces, although it is not the only change in the leadership of the Army.
Zelensky has said that he wants the vision of war to be the same for soldiers on the front lines. Robotine (Zaporijia) or Avdivka (Donetsk) than at the headquarters and at the meetings of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Stavka with the military leadership.
He has revealed that he had dozens of conversations with commanders at different levels, particularly with brigadier generals. Andrí Hnatov, Mikhailo Drapati, Igor Skibiuk and the colonels Pavel Palisa and Vadim Sukharevski.
“The year 2024 can only be successful for Ukraine if effective changes occur at the basis of our defense, which is the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Zelensky added.
Zaluzhni is very popular in Ukraine
Zaluzhni himself, who enjoys great popularity in Ukraine, even greater than the president himself, has noted on his Telegram channel that he is “proud of all members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who protect the future of our children.
“All soldiers, sergeants and officers. I bow my head to all those who gave their lives for Ukraine and the freedom. We will remember and take revenge on everyone,” he has written and shows his confidence that “the Ukrainians will definitely win” the war.
Zaluzhni recalled that in the first and most difficult days of the Russian war, with him in command, the Armed Forces faced “a vile and powerful enemy.”
“We endure together. Our battle continues and changes daily. The tasks of 2022 are different from the tasks of 2024. Therefore, everyone must also change and adapt to the new realities. To win together,” he stressed.