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New Chief of General Staff, Ukraine-Poland border blockade again - Friday brief

New Chief of General Staff, Ukraine-Poland border blockade again - Friday brief RBC-Ukraine collage

Yesterday, February 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appointed a new Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Polish carriers blocked the road leading to the Shehyni border crossing point.

RBC-Ukraine compiled the main news for February 9.

Russia's war against Ukraine: Latest updates

Zelenskyy appoints new Chief of the General Staff

Anatoliy Barhylevych has been appointed as the new Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He replaces Serhii Shaptala in this position.

"I appointed Major General Anatoliy Barhylevych as the new chief of the General Staff at the suggestion of Chief of Staff Oleksandr Syrskyi. He is an experienced person who understands the tasks of this war and Ukrainian goals," the head of state said.

According to Zelenskyy, Syrskyi appointed the candidacies for his deputies. Deputy chiefs of the General Staff have also been determined.

"And I will sign the relevant decrees. All the guys are combative, professional, each one with a clear knowledge of the front and the real needs of Ukrainian soldiers," he added.

Before the appointment, Barhylevych headed the Territorial Defense Forces.

Polish carriers block Shehyni checkpoint

Polish carriers blocked the road to the Shehyni checkpoint. All types of transport cannot get to Poland and Ukraine.

"Yesterday we reported that we had information from our Polish colleagues that today at 10:00 a.m. the blocking of traffic in the direction of three checkpoints will begin - Yahodyn, Rava-Ruska, and Shehyni. Of course, all these actions are taking place on the territory of Poland in the direction of the checkpoints, and the distance from the border may vary in different sections," said Andrii Demchenko, spokesperson for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.

According to information from Polish border guards, blocking actions have already begun in the direction of the Shehyni checkpoint (on the Polish side it is the Medyka checkpoint).

"About 100 people and about 50 vehicles blocked the access road to the border. They are located about a few hundred meters from the checkpoint. And at the moment there is no traffic either leaving Poland or entering Poland. Both for trucks and for cars and buses," he says.

The SBGS spokesperson emphasizes that what was said, that the actions were aimed exclusively at blocking trucks, was true, as traffic for all categories of transport was blocked in this direction.

Additionally, traffic through several border crossing points has been complicated over Polish farmers' protests.

Putin interview

Yesterday, February 9, an interview with the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin by the American journalist Tucker Carlson was published online.

In the interview, the Russian dictator made a series of scandalous statements and once again attempted to justify his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine stated that such an interview was nothing but a Russian special operation.

One of Putin's most scandalous statements was an accusation against Poland, claiming that it was responsible for the start of World War II. The Kremlin leader fantasized that Warsaw pushed the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, because "it turned out to be uncompromising."

Poland has already reacted to these accusations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radosław Sikorski, stated that he was shocked by the enabling of Russian propaganda by an American journalist.

Umerov holds first working meeting with Syrskyi

Defense Minister Rustem Umerov held his first working meeting with the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), Oleksandr Syrskyi.

During the meeting, a detailed action plan for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) for 2024 was discussed. The following issues were raised:

  • Establishing a logistics system;
  • Ensuring timely fulfillment of military needs;
  • Implementing an effective system of unit rotation and rest.

Additionally, the Minister of Defense and the Commander-in-Chief of the AFU discussed:

  • Improving the quality of training and providing support to training centers;
  • Training new instructors and incorporating modern expertise.

Special attention was given to Unmanned Systems Forces.

"We expect new decisions, the consolidation of experience, and most importantly - technical tasks for the development of new models. Those that will give us a strategic advantage tomorrow. Thank you, General Colonel, for the substantive meeting," stated Umerov.

Ukraine's EU accession: European Commission sets timeline for negotiation framework

The European Commission expects to be ready within the next few weeks to provide a framework for negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union.

Moreover, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a plan of measures to implement the recommendations of the European Commission to start negotiations on Ukraine's EU membership.

Zelenskyy grants Zaluzhnyi and Budanov title of Hero of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to former Commander-in-Chief of the AFU Valerii Zaluzhnyi and the Head of the Defence Intelligence Kyrylo Budanov.