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Defense chief appoints new head of Ukraine’s medical forces

by Lance Luo December 2, 2023 12:30 AM 2 min read
Major General Anatoly Kazmirchuk seen at the official appointment ceremony on Dec. 1 (Defense Ministry/Creative Commons)
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Major General Anatoly Kazmirchuk on Dec. 1 officially accepted the role of Commander of the Medical Forces of Ukraine, according to the Defense Ministry.

President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed Medical Forces commander Tetyana Ostashchenko on Nov. 19 amid repeated calls from medics and volunteers to fire the official, replacing her with Anatoly Kazmirchuk.

Kazmirchuk previously headed the National Military Medical Clinical Center in Kyiv.

"The life and health of our wounded soldiers is your personal responsibility. We have to combine the newest approaches of NATO with the entire range of experience of combat medics from the Ukrainian front," said Defense Minister Rustem Umerov at the appointment ceremony.

Combat medics have repeatedly said that poor quality supplies and lack of training were costing soldiers’ lives on the frontline. Cheaply produced medical tools, many made in China, have flooded Ukraine and made their way into soldiers’ equipment.

“This has been repeatedly discussed in society, in particular in the community of our combat medics — a fundamentally new level of medical support for our military is needed,” Zelensky said.

Subpar medical care in the military has been a sensitive topic as the country struggles to fight off perceptions of grand corruption.

U.S. intelligence estimates about 130,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been injured since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022.

Corruption prevention agency: Enlistment officers in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Lviv involved in corruption
The National Agency on Corruption Prevention uncovered that the former head of the Zaporizhzhia Oblast military enlistment office and the head of a district enlistment office in Lviv illegally accepted gifts, the Agency reported on Aug. 8.

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