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Zelensky visits Donetsk Oblast along with newly appointed General Hnatov

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 26, 2024 11:34 AM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky in a screenshot of a video filmed at the entrance to the city of Pokrovsk, Donetsk Oblast, on June 26, 2024. (President Volodymyr Zelensky/Telegram)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Donetsk Oblast on June 26 along with the newly appointed Commander of the Joint Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Andrii Hnatov.

Zelensky announced on June 24 that he had appointed Hnatov to replace Lieutenant General Yurii Sodol following unconfirmed reports that Sodol was the subject of an official complaint to the State Bureau of Investigation. Sodol had been reportedly accused of practices that resulted in heavy losses among the troops in his command.

Zelensky said that he and Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces Oleksandr Syrskyi "officially introduced Andrii Hnatov to all those responsible for defense in the Donetsk region" and visited the 110th and 47th brigades.

In a video address filmed in front of the entrance sign to the city of Pokrovsk, Zelensky thanked the defenders and medics in the area and said that he had held a "detailed meeting on security and support for the people."

Pokrovsk, located some 70 kilometers (43 miles) northwest of the Russian-occupied regional capital Donetsk, was hit by a ballistic missile on June 24, killing at least five people and wounding another 41.

Zelensky emphasized the need for officials to personally visit front-line areas, saying that the solutions to local problems "simply cannot be seen from Kyiv."

"I was surprised to learn that some relevant officials have not been here for six months or more," he said. "There will be a serious conversation, and I will draw appropriate conclusions regarding them."

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