February 26, 2024

Ukraine’s new army chief says his immediate goals are better troop rotation and high-tech weapons

Ukraine’s new army chief mentioned Friday his immediate goals are to enhance the rotation of troops out of the entrance strains and harness the facility of new know-how within the battle in opposition to Russia‘s invasion.

Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, who beforehand was the commander of Ukraine’s floor forces, spoke a day after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put him answerable for the battlefield marketing campaign in opposition to Russia’s invasion.

“New tasks are on the agenda,” Syrskyi mentioned on his Telegram channel.

Though he supplied little element, his remarks appeared to align with Zelenskyy’s acknowledged goal of bringing “renewal” to the armed forces in Thursday’s shake-up and adopting a contemporary method to the battle.

But the adjustments on the prime received’t resolve a few of Ukraine’s greatest issues: a scarcity of manpower that has helped sap morale and could require a mass mobilization, and the insufficient provide of Western weapons to tackle Russia’s may.

The shake-up of the army prime brass induced some apprehension on the streets of Kyiv, the nation’s capital.

Alisa Riazantseva, 35, mentioned she had been “generally satisfied” with Syrskyi’s fashionable predecessor, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi. “We hope that our authorities has not made an enormous mistake” by replacing him, she told The Associated Press.

Oleksandr Azimov, 61, said there was “some discontent, some dissatisfaction” about the changes at the top.

That may be a reference to previous criticism of Syrskyi’s strategy of holding on for nine months to the city of Bakhmut, which brought the war’s longest and bloodiest battle and which cost Ukraine dearly in troop losses. But it served the purpose of sapping Russia’s forces.

Syrskyi takes charge at an overall difficult time for Ukraine’s war effort. With the fighting about to enter its third year, Kyiv is largely dependent on support from Western countries where signs of war fatigue have emerged.

That has left Ukraine on the defensive while Russia has placed its economy on a war footing and is building up its weapon stockpiles. Analysts detected no sign of a deeper malaise in Zelenskyy’s move, which had been rumored for weeks.

“Command changes are normal for a state fighting a war over several years,” the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, said late Thursday.

Asked about Zaluzhnyi’s exit and Syrskyi’s appointment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday downplayed the strikes.

“We don’t think that these are the factors that could change the course of the special (military) operation,” he mentioned, utilizing the Russian authorities’s euphemism for the warfare.

Russian President Vladimir Putin used an interview broadcast late Thursday with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson to induce Washington to acknowledge Moscow’s pursuits and persuade Ukraine to sit down down for talks.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in Washington for talks with President Joe Biden on Friday about new U.S. army support for Ukraine. The very important support is being held up by disputes in Congress.

Syrski, who was born within the Soviet Union and attended Moscow Higher Military Command School in addition to serving within the Soviet Artillery Corps, is described as an obsessive planner, and his feedback Friday mentioned his first job was to make sure “clear and detailed planning.”

He additionally positioned emphasis on guaranteeing the well-being of troops. “The life and health of servicemen have always been and are the main value of the Ukrainian Army,” he mentioned — maybe a reference to the Bakhmut criticism.

Syrski is seen because the architect of the counteroffensive within the Kharkiv area in September 2022. That was essentially the most vital Ukrainian victory of the warfare, permitting Kyiv to push the Kremlin’s forces out of the cities of Kupiansk and Izium.

Zelenskyy signed orders Friday to award Zaluzhnyi and Kyrylo Budanov, chief of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence, with the Golden Star award, the nation’s highest honor.


Follow AP’s protection of the warfare in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine