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Zelensky replaces Ukraine's military commander in chief

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has removed Valery Zaluzhny as the country's military commander-in-chief (Voldymyr Zelensky/ X )
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has removed Valery Zaluzhny as the country's military commander-in-chief (Voldymyr Zelensky/ X )

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has removed Valery Zaluzhny as the country's military commander-in-chief.

The new top general is Oleksandr Syrsky, former commander of Ukraine's ground forces, the Washington Post reported.

Zaluzhny and the president are believed to have clashed in recent months.

Zelensky said on social media: "I thanked him for two years of defense of Ukraine.

"We also discussed who could be in the renewed leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine."

The president added that he proposed that Zaluzhny "remain part of the team."

Zelensky said other commanders are being considered for promotions, as several generals are expected to be replaced.

Syrsky, 58, was credited with leading the defense of Kyiv in the first month of the war.

Oleksandr Syrsky is the new Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces (AP)
Oleksandr Syrsky is the new Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces (AP)

He also led a successful counteroffensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region in Autumn 2022.

In posts on both Zelensky’s and Zaluzhny’s social media accounts, the two men posed shaking hands and smiling. “A decision was made about the need to change approaches and strategy,” Zaluzhny wrote.

Zelensky’s post said that he “thanked” Zaluzhny, 50, for “two years of protecting Ukraine.” He added that in their meeting Thursday, they discussed “updated leadership” for Ukraine’s military.

“The time for such an update is now,” he added.

Zaluzhnyi said on Wednesday Russia had fired 64 missiles and drones, of which 44 were intercepted. According to the Ukrainian air force, Russian cruise missiles were detected above the western regions of Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk.

President Zelensky has been urging western allies to step up military aid as the war, which has been fought for 715 days since Russia invaded, continues.