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2 Mar, 2024 13:19

Ukraine’s top general announces commander reshuffle

Alexandr Syrsky said some of the officers have lost control of the situation on the battlefield
Ukraine’s top general announces commander reshuffle

The incompetence of a number of local commanders is to blame for Kiev’s recent poor performance on the battlefield, especially in Donbass, where the country’s troops have been retreating recently, according to Ukraine’s top general Alexandr Syrsky.

Writing on Telegram on Saturday, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that he remains focused on the ongoing fighting in the region. He noted that it took him three days to figure out why some of Kiev’s “brigades manage to hold back enemy attacks and maintain their positions, while others do not” despite having roughly the same amount of manpower and military equipment.

According to the general, who has reportedly been nicknamed the “Butcher” by some of his own troops for his alleged tendency to throw soldiers into fruitless attacks, much depends on the experience of brigade commanders and their “ability to make adequate and balanced decisions.”

Syrsky said that he had sent specialists to reinforce several unnamed problematic brigades and to boost their military expertise, adding that he had made the decision to shore up the units with additional military equipment.

However, he continued, “in some cases, when the commander does not control the situation, and actions and commands directly threaten the life and health of subordinates, I am forced to make personnel decisions.”

The general’s comments came after Russian troops captured the strategic Donbass city of Avdeevka last month, with Moscow claiming that Kiev’s retreat became a disorganized rout with heavy losses. The heavily fortified city has been on the frontline since 2014 and was frequently used by Ukraine to shell Donetsk, with many attacks targeting civilians.

Moscow’s forces later extended their gains, capturing several smaller settlements to the west of Avdeevka. Against this backdrop, Bloomberg, citing sources, reported earlier this week that Ukrainian officials are concerned that Russia’s onslaught may gain momentum by summer unless Kiev receives major ammunition shipments from the West.

Meanwhile, Syrsky himself received a promotion as a result of a major top brass reshuffle that saw the dismissal of Ukraine’s commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny. Numerous media reports suggested that Zaluzhny and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had been at odds over military strategy, with the Ukrainian leader reportedly viewing the veteran general as a potential political rival.