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Syrskyi dissatisfied with some brigade commanders, hints at personnel changes

by Martin Fornusek March 2, 2024 10:43 AM 2 min read
Oleksandr Syrskyi. (Syrskyi/Telegram).
Oleksandr Syrskyi. (Syrskyi/Telegram)
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Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi on March 2 said he was forced to make "personnel decisions" regarding some eastern front brigade commanders whose actions "threaten the life and health" of their soldiers.

Syrskyi replaced Valerii Zaluzhnyi as the commander-in-chief on Feb. 8 amid wider personnel changes in the military's leadership. Ukraine has been facing mounting challenges on the battlefield in recent months, as U.S. military aid remains blocked while Russia ramps up pressure along the front.

"I continue to work on the eastern front. Within three days, it became completely clear why... some brigades manage to hold back enemy attacks and maintain their positions, while others do not, "Syrskyi said on his Telegram channel.

"First of all, it depends on the brigade's commander, his training, experience, and his ability to make adequate and balanced decisions," he stressed.

Syrskyi said he sent specialists to brigades facing problems to assist and provide expertise. He also said that based on reports from commanders, Syrskyi made all necessary decisions regarding reserves and supplies of ammunition, drones, and other equipment.

"In some cases, when the commander does not control the situation, and their actions and commands directly threaten the life and health of their subordinates, I am forced to make personnel decisions," Ukraine's chief commander commented, without mentioning specific units or officers.

Syrskyi highlighted the combat performance of several units, namely the 54th Mechanized Brigade, which took out two columns of Russian armored vehicles with artillery fire and mines.

The commander-in-chief also praised the 25th Airborne Brigade and the 47th Mechanized Brigade for their prowess in the battle of Orlivka and Berdychi and the 79th Air Assault Brigade, which repelled Russian attacks in the Novomykhailivka sector in Donetsk Oblast.

Syrskyi said that an unnamed brigade that had spent two years of continuous battles was moved to the rear to restore combat capability. According to Ukrainska Pravda, he was likely referring to the 110th Mechanized Brigade that fought at Avdiivka.

Shortly upon his appointment as the commander-in-chief, Syrskyi named the "fastest and most rational distribution" of military supplies as one of his key priorities.

One week later, Syrskyi withdrew Ukrainian units from Avdiivka, a key front-line city in Donetsk Oblast facing months of intense attacks, "in order to avoid encirclement and preserve the lives and health of servicemen."

Who is General Syrskyi, Ukraine’s new chief commander?
Following months of reports about a rift in Ukraine’s political and military leadership, President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who had led Ukraine’s military since before the full-scale invasion. Zelensky replaced Zaluzhnyi with General Oleksandr Syrskyi, who…

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