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Zelenskyy Orders Army Shake-Up: Ukraine's General Replaced for Renewal

(Photo: Reuters)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Thursday a significant shift in the country's military leadership, specifically the replacement of army chief General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi in the ongoing war against Russia. This decision, also confirmed by Defence Minister Rustem Umerov in a separate statement, follows days of speculation regarding the potential dismissal of General Zaluzhnyi, who is widely regarded by many Ukrainians as a national hero for overseeing the war effort since February 2022.

Zelenskyy, in his official statement, revealed that he had engaged in discussions with General Zaluzhnyi about the necessary renewal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and deliberated on potential candidates for the revamped leadership. Emphasizing the urgency of this renewal, Zelenskyy expressed that the time for change is now. Despite the leadership change, Zelenskyy requested General Zaluzhnyi to remain part of his team.

General Zaluzhnyi, in his corresponding statement, acknowledged an "important and serious conversation" with President Zelenskyy and highlighted a decision to alter battlefield tactics and strategy. He noted that the challenges in 2022 differ from those anticipated in 2024, emphasizing the need for everyone to adapt to new realities for collective victory.

The simultaneous publication of these statements suggests a coordinated effort between President Zelenskyy and General Zaluzhnyi to present a united front amid the leadership transition. This military shake-up occurs during a critical period for Ukraine, grappling with battlefield challenges and acute ammunition shortages while awaiting crucial military assistance from the United States. The strategic changes in leadership and tactics aim to navigate these difficulties and strengthen Ukraine's position in the ongoing conflict.


Feb. 9, 2024 5:34 p.m. 1333

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