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Zelenskyy appointed Syrskyi as Commander-in-Chief of the AFU and announced further high-level staff reshuffling

Oleksandr Syrskyi. Source: Video screenshot

Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi has been appointed as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He replaced General Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

The President of Ukraine announced the decision in his evening address to Ukrainians on February 8. This is not the only change. A new management team is taking over the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"I am grateful to General Zaluzhnyi for two years of defense. I am grateful for every victory we have achieved together and thank all Ukrainian soldiers who are heroically enduring this war," the President said.

He noted that he had a frank conversation with the general about the urgent changes in the army.

"I offered General Zaluzhnyi to continue to be part of the team of the Ukrainian state. I will be grateful for his consent," the head of state emphasized.

Zelenskyy noted that a new team is taking over the management of the army. The purpose of all the changes is to ensure that the vision of the war is unified among the soldiers in Robotyne or Avdiivka, as well as in the General Staff.

"I have had dozens of conversations with commanders of various levels. In particular, today I spoke with Brigadier Generals Andrii Hnatov, Mykhailo Drapatyi, Ihor Skybiuk and Colonels Pavlo Palisa and Vadym Sukharevskyi. All of them are being considered for senior positions in the army and will serve under the leadership of the most experienced Ukrainian commander," the Ukrainian leader said.

Commenting on the appointment of Syrskyi, the President emphasized the valuable experience of this military leader: he conducted the Kyiv defense operation and the Kharkiv liberation operation.

"The year 2024 can be successful for Ukraine only if there are effective changes in the basis of our defense, which is the Armed Forces of Ukraine," Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy appointed Syrskyi as Commander-in-Chief of the AFU and announced further high-level staff reshuffling

On February 8, Zelenskyy met with General Zaluzhnyi. They discussed what kind of renewal the Ukrainian army needs and who could be in the renewed leadership of the Armed Forces. The President said he thanked the general for two years of defense of Ukraine, and now it was time for renewal.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan issued a joint statement that NATO and the United States have no influence on personnel changes in the Armed Forces. Any personnel changes in the Ukrainian army, particularly at the level of operational leadership, are a sovereign matter for Ukraine.

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