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Commander-in-Chief thanks allies in speech marking 2-year anniversary of invasion

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 24, 2024 12:12 PM 2 min read
Defense Minister Rustem Umerov and Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi visit command posts near Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast and Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast, Feb. 14, 2024. (Minister of Defense of Ukraine)
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Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi thanked Ukraine's allies on Feb. 24 for their ongoing military aid, emphasizing that "every shell, every tank, every armored vehicle is first and foremost about saving the lives of Ukrainian soldiers."

President Volodymyr Zelensky replaced former Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi with Syrskyi, who had previously served as the commander of Ukraine's Ground Forces and the Khortytsia Operational and Strategic Group fighting in the country's east, in early February.

When announcing the decision, Zelensky called Syrskyi "the most experienced Ukrainian commander" and recalled the achievements attributed to him — the Battle of Kyiv in spring 2022 and the surprise counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast in September 2022.

In his statement marking the two-year anniversary of the full-scale invasion, Syrskyi also thanked Ukrainian soldiers, emergency service workers, and volunteers for their commitment, adding that "today, more than ever, we need unity."

"No one (believed that we would endure) except the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who engaged the enemy from the very first moments," Syrskyi wrote.

"No one (believed) except hundreds of thousands of volunteers who stood in lines at military enlistment offices in the early hours of the full-scale aggression. Except for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who joined the Territorial Defense Forces from the first days. Except for millions of Ukrainians who, through volunteer efforts, began an unprecedented support campaign for their army."

Syrskyi went on to declare that there will be "more burning Russian planes" in the near future and that Ukraine would push back against Russian forces "even in the air," hinting at Ukraine's long-desired push to achieve air superiority.

"The state leadership is doing everything possible for this," Syrskyi wrote.

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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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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