Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed a new commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Former head of the Ground Forces Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi will replace Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, announced President Zelensky on his official Telegram channel on Thursday, February 8.
Previously, information about a meeting between Zelensky and Zaluzhnyi had surfaced on their Telegram channels. According to the President's post, he thanked the former military chief for two years of service in Ukraine's Army and discussed with him the changes the armed forces require, including potential updates in leadership. President Zelensky also made it clear he wanted Zaluzhnyi to continue being part of the team.
In his post, Zaluzhnyi acknowledged the distinct challenges of 2022 compared with what is anticipated for 2024. "Therefore, we all need to adapt to new realities," he wrote, adding that they had agreed on the need for new approaches and strategies. Zaluzhnyi expressed his gratitude to his team at the General Staff, the Ministry of Defense, and the President for their support.
In late November 2023, The Economist reported on the allegedly 'terrible' relations between Zelensky and Zaluzhnyi. The article, citing a high-level Ukrainian source, attributed the worsening relationship to a protracted Ukrainian counteroffensive that "did not go according to plan."
In his interview to The Economist, Zaluzhnyi suggested that the war with Russia had reached a stalemate, a viewpoint that President Zelensky subsequently refuted, insisting that the situation at the front could not be described as a deadlock.