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Zelenskyy overhauls Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, reshuffles top military leadership

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy changed the composition of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) on Feb. 9.

Read also: Zaluzhnyi declined to leave military service for civilian role – report

By decree No. 68, the president removed former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi and former Minister for Veterans Affairs Yulia Laputina from the NSDC. Additionally, Zelenskyy introduced Oleksandr Syrskyi, the new Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, to the NSDC.

Earlier, there were reports of a change in the composition of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief’s staff: Zaluzhnyi and Laputina were also removed from there and Syrskyi was introduced.

Laputina’s statement of resignation reached the Verkhovna Rada on Feb. 5, and the parliament supported her dismissal on Feb. 7. The president said the department needed a reboot and “steps that will solve the problems in this area.”

Acting Minister of Veterans became a Hero of Ukraine, ATO participant Oleksandr Porkhun.

On Feb. 8, Zelenskyy, by his decree, dismissed Valerii Zaluzhnyi from the position of the chief, which he held for over 2.5 years, appointing Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi in his place.

Read also: Head of the Ukrainian Center for Security and Cooperation discusses reasons for Syrsky appointment

Syrskyi outlined the following priorities:

  • clear and detailed planning of the all military administration bodies actions taking into account the needs of the front in the latest weapons, the “fastest and the most rational” distribution of everything necessary for combat units

  • availability of information about all the needs of the front and the situation in each its area

  • maintaining a balance between the performance of combat missions and the restoration of units, and units with enhanced trainings

  • introduction of new technical solutions, scaling of the unmanned systems and means of electronic warfare (EW) use.

Zelenskyy also announced that the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine would be renewed. According to him, this is being done to involve the experience of combat commanders, reboot the generals, and change approaches to rotation, front management, mobilization, and recruitment.

The president announced the decision after a week of rumors about Zaluzhnyi’s resignation and reports of conflict with the chief, which began to reappear in November 2023 after two resonant articles by Time and The Economist and a series of events that followed.

WP earlier reported that the possible reason for Zaluzhnyi’s resignation could be differences over different views on mobilization in Ukraine.

Valerii Zaluzhnyi was awarded the title Hero of Ukraine.

Read also: Prominent Ukrainians honor departing army chief with photos, praise him as having a historic legacy

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine