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Syrskyi appointed as new Ukraine's army chief

Syrskyi appointed as new Ukraine's army chief Photo: Oleksandr Syrskyi (Getty Images)

Oleksandr Syrskyi has been appointed as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Previously, this position was held by Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

"I have appointed Colonel-General Syrskyi as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced.

Oleksandr Syrskyi was the commander of the Army of the Armed Forces of Ukraine before being appointed to the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Currently, it remains unknown who will lead the largest part of the Ukrainian army in his place.

Valerii Zaluzhnyi previously held the position of head of the Armed Forces. He was appointed to this post back in 2021, before the start of a full-scale Russian invasion.

What is known about Syrskii

Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi was born on July 26, 1965, in the village of Novinki, Vladimir region, RSFSR. He was educated at the Academy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National University of Defense. He graduated from both educational institutions with honors.

Syrskyi passed all stages of service in the army - from platoon commander to deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. In the early 2000s, Syrskyi commanded the 72nd Mechanized Division in the city of Bila Tserkva. In 2013, he held the position of deputy chief of the Main Command Center of the Armed Forces, responsible for cooperation with NATO. At the beginning of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014, Syrskyi headed the ATO headquarters.

In 2019, Syrskyi became the commander of the Ground Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and since 2020 he has the rank of colonel general.

Full-scale war

From the first days of the full-scale invasion of Russia, Oleksandr Syrskyi has been at the epicenter of hostilities. In particular, he led the defense of Kyiv in March-April 2022. Under his leadership, it was possible to drive the invaders away from the capital.

For the successful defense of Kyiv, he was awarded the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky II degree, and on April 5, 2022, he was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.

In September 2022, Oleksandr Syrskyi led a counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region, as a result of which hundreds of settlements were liberated.

Until today, Sirskyi was responsible for the operational zone of the Eastern Group of Forces - the territory from Kupiansk (the Kharkiv region) to Bakhmut (the Donetsk region).

Resignation of Zaluzhnyi

Rumors about the resignation of Valerii Zaluzhnyi from the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces appeared at the end of January 2024. However, even before that, the media wrote about the possible dismissal of Zaluzhnyi.

It is known that there was a conflict between President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the first frictions appeared as early as the summer of 2022.

The conflict escalated due to the actual failure of the counteroffensive. As Bankova sources told RBC-Ukraine, the primary source of all the optimistic forecasts was the assurances of the generals about the success of the operation.

For details on what happened between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi and what preceded the resignation of the chairman, read the RBC-Ukraine article.