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Ukraine’s President Confirms Plans for Military Shake-up

Ukrainian news outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported the same day that Zelenskyy is also considering removing General Staff Chief Serhii Shaptala.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he plans to reshuffle Ukraine’s military and political leadership.

The comments, on Italian RAI TV in an interview broadcast late on Sunday, follow weeks of speculation that Zelenskyy intends to dismiss Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s military.

“A reset, a new beginning is necessary” and it is “not about a single person but about the direction of the country’s leadership”, Zelenskyy said.

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“I’m thinking about this replacement,” he said, “but you can’t say here we replaced a single person.”

Zaluzhny, who was appointed by Zelenskyy months before Russia invaded in February 2022, is popular with troops and the wider population. He has denied speculation that he has political ambitions.

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyi attends a meeting with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine April 24, 2022. Picture taken April 24, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

He and the president have been at odds for some time over the conduct of the war, as the country grapples with low ammunition, personnel shortages after a failed counteroffensive, and the need for more troops.

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Zelenskyy sought to downplay the implications during his comments on the reshuffle.

“When we talk about this, I mean a replacement of a series of state leaders, not just in a single sector like the military,” he said.

“If we want to win, we must all push in the same direction, convinced of victory; we cannot be discouraged, let our arms fall; we must have the right positive energy,” the president continued as he spoke of Kyiv’s struggle to oust Russian forces following the 2014 annexation of Crimea, the occupation of parts of the Donbas, and the invasion of February 2022.

Ukrainian news outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported the same day that Zelenskyy is also considering removing General Staff Chief Serhii Shaptala.


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