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Zelensky appoints new commanders in the Armed Forces: who heads the Land Forces, Air Assault Forces and the Terrorist Defense Forces

Maryna LisnychukPolitics
Zelensky appoints new commanders in the Armed Forces

President Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed new commanders of various branches of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In particular, Lieutenant General Serhiy Nayev was replaced by Yuriy Sodol as commander of the Joint Forces, and Oleksandr Pavliuk, the former head of the KOVA and Reznikov's former deputy, became the head of the Land Forces.

The Airborne Assault Forces and the Territorial Defense Forces also have new leaders. The relevant decrees appeared on the President's website on February 11, 2024.

Land Forces

Zelensky's Decree No. 69/2024 appointed Pavliuk Oleksandr Oleksiyovych as the Commander of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, replacing Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky, who became the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

Zelensky appoints new commanders in the Armed Forces: who heads the Land Forces, Air Assault Forces and the Terrorist Defense Forces

Lieutenant General Oleksandr Pavliuk (53) is a fellow countryman of the "iron general", the previous commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valeriy Zaluzhny, as he was also born in the city of Zvyagel, Zhytomyr region.

From 2021 to 2022, he served as the commander of the Joint Forces Operation, which took place in part of Donbas. In 2022, he was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine. In March 2022 , he was appointed head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, entrusted with the organization of the capital's defense, and in May of the same year he was removed from this position.

On February 14, 2023, the government decided to appoint him first deputy to the then head of the Ministry of Defense, Oleksiy Reznikov, and almost a year later, on February 10, 2024, the Cabinet of Ministers fired Pavliuk.

Joint forces

Presidential Decree No. 71/2024 appointed Yuriy Ivanovych Sodol as commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and dismissed Serhiy Nayev from this position by Decree No. 70/2024.

Zelensky appoints new commanders in the Armed Forces: who heads the Land Forces, Air Assault Forces and the Terrorist Defense Forces

Lieutenant General Yuriy Sodol (53) was born in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv region, into a military family. He graduated from high school in Mariupol (1988), Sumy Higher Artillery Command School (1992) and the Chernyakhovsky National Defense Academy of Ukraine in Kyiv (in 2022 he qualified as an officer of the military command of the operational and tactical level, in 2015 - of the operational and strategic level).

In the 1990s, he served in an artillery regiment in the Dnipro region. In 2003, he joined the airmobile troops. In 2007-2015, he was the commander of the 25th separate airborne brigade of the Airborne Forces, with which he visited the hottest spots during the ATO: Rubizhne, the storming of Yampol, the defense of Donetsk airport, and covering the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from Debaltseve.

In January 2015, he was appointed First Deputy Commander of the Airborne Forces, and since March 2018, he has been the Commander of the Navy's Marine Corps. Yuriy Sodol is a Hero of Ukraine (2022). He received the medal "For Military Service to Ukraine" (2010), the Order "For Courage" of the III degree (2014), and the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky of the III degree (2015).

Airborne assault troops

By Decree No. 73/2024, Zelensky appointed Ihor Anatoliyovych Skybyuk as the commander of the Air Assault Troops. Accordingly, Maksym Myrhorodskyi was dismissed from this position.

Zelensky appoints new commanders in the Armed Forces: who heads the Land Forces, Air Assault Forces and the Terrorist Defense Forces

Brigadier General Ihor Skybyuk (48) has served in the 80th separate airborne assault brigade of the Airborne Forces since 1998. He rose from platoon commander to brigade commander (2022). He participated in the ATO and the Joint Forces Operation in eastern Ukraine. He was the commander of Ukrainian units in the international military exercises Maple Arch 2016.

With the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops on February 24, 2022, he continued to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine and distinguished himself in early September when he commanded units of the 80th Air Assault Brigade during search and strike operations to destroy the enemy in the direction of the cities of Balakliia, Izium district, Kupiansk and Izium, Kharkiv region. Thanks to his determination, clear and timely combat orders, the brigade's units liberated several settlements, including Izyum, from the occupiers. From 2023, he was Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Airborne Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In 2022, President Zelensky awarded Colonel Ihor Skybyuk the highest state award, the Order of the Golden Star, and conferred the title of Hero of Ukraine. He was also awarded the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, III and II degrees (twice in 2022).

Territorial Defense Forces

According to the Presidential Decree No. 74/2024, Ihor Viktorovych Plakhuta became the Commander of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Zelensky appoints new commanders in the Armed Forces: who heads the Land Forces, Air Assault Forces and the Terrorist Defense Forces

Colonel Ihor Plakhuta commanded the Separate Presidential Brigade (from 2005 to May 2008), in 2009 he was the commander of the 169th Training Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, the day before, the president replaced the leadership of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. Major General Anatoliy Bargylevych, who headed the Territorial Defense Forces, was appointed to the position of the head. He will take the place of Lieutenant General Serhiy Shaptala.

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