Zelensky removed Ukraine's Commander-in-chief

21:11 08.02.2024 •

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky removed Ukraine's Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny, replaced by Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky (photo), ‘Sputnik Globe’ informs.

The general's ouster comes after months of intrigue between himself and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who slammed the commander for revealing that Kiev's summer 2023 counteroffensive had ended in failure.

Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny has left his post as the Ukraine's top general, Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov has announced.

In a video address Thursday evening, Zelensky confirmed that Zaluzhny had been dismissed, and announced that he would be replaced as commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces by Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrsky, an officer who has served as commander of Ukraine's Ground Forces since 2019.

Who is Oleksandr Syrsky?

Born in 1965 in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and moving to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1980, Syrsky began his military service in 1986 as a commander of a motorized rifle platoon. A graduate of the Moscow Higher Combined Arms Command School, he served in the Soviet military in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Czechoslovakia. After the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991, Syrsky gradually rose through the ranks of the Ukrainian military.

With the outbreak of the Ukrainian civil conflict in the Donbass in 2014, Syrsky was appointed deputy chief of the Main Command Center of the Armed Forces, with responsibilities including coordination of cooperation with NATO, and tapped as chief of staff of the so-called 'Anti-Terrorist Operation' meant to crush Donbass militias resisting Kiev's post-Maidan coup government. In 2016, he was appointed the head of the Joint Operational Headquarters of Ukraine's Armed Forces and promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. He was promoted again to his current rank of colonel general in August 2020.

From the fall of 2022 to the spring of 2023, Syrsky was tasked with commanding Ukrainian forces in Soledar and Artemovsk (Bakhmut), strategic Donbass settlements which were liberated by Russian forces in difficult and bloody street battles in the spring of 2023.


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