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Ground Forces: Heads of southern, eastern military commands reassigned to new posts

by Kateryna Hodunova April 11, 2024 2:31 PM 2 min read
Major General Andrii Kovalchuk, the ex-head of Southern Operational Command, is attending an event in Odesa, Ukraine, on March 14, 2024. (Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Andrii Kovalchuk, the head of Southern Operational Command, and Serhii Litvinov, the head of Eastern Operational Command, have been promoted and will leave their current posts, the Ground Forces' spokesperson, Volodymyr Fitio, confirmed for the Kyiv Independent on April 11.

Lawmaker Oleksii Honcharenko said on April 9 that Kovalchuk and Litvinov were dismissed from their respective commands, adding that these changes would not be "the last ones."

Honcharenko announced the same day that Major General Hennadii Shapovalov, the ex-commander of the 59th Motorized Infantry Brigade, was appointed as the new head of the Southern Operational Command, while Brigade General Volodymyr Shvediuk, who previously served in the Territorial Defense Forces, took over the Eastern Operational Command.

According to the military's statement, Litvinov became a deputy head of Ukraine's National Defense University, and Kovalchuk was appointed as the head of the Odesa Military Academy.

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Litvinov has served as the head of the Eastern Operational Command since August 2021. He was also a combat training deputy commander of the Northern Operational Command in 2017, and co-led Ukrainian-U.S. Rapid Trident drills the same year.

Kovalchuk has been deployed as a peacekeeper to U.N. missions in Kosovo, Liberia, and Cote d'Ivoire. He also participated in combat operations in Donetsk Oblast at the beginning of the Russian invasion in 2014 before the assault on Luhansk International Airport, where he was wounded.

In 2016, Kovalchuk was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.

Kovalchuk was appointed the head of the Southern Operational Command in August 2021. The following year, Kovalchuk commanded the southern counteroffensive in the Kherson Oblast.

He was also credited by the General Staff as the one who planned the counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast, which was commanded on the ground by General Oleksandr Syrskyi.

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