Zelenskyy names ex-army chief Zaluzhnyi ‘hero of Ukraine’

Feb 9, 2024

Kiev: President Volodymyr Zelensky named former military general general valery Zaluzhnyi A “hero Of ukraineOn Friday, a day after he was replaced in the biggest blow yet to the war with Russia.
Zaluzny, a popular figure who oversaw Ukraine's war effort during the Russian invasion, was replaced on Thursday by ground forces commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky.
The decision to award Zaluzny Ukraine's highest state award is a sign that Zelensky's team is trying to signal unity and respect for Zaluzny following his removal from the post of commander of the armed forces. This was announced in a decree on the presidential website.
Polls have indicated that Zaluzny enjoys a larger share of public trust than Zelensky. There is no concrete data yet on the public reaction to his removal, but many Ukrainians have openly questioned his dismissal on social media.
The military reshuffle follows months of speculation between Ukraine's two most prominent wartime figures over the approach to the war against Russia, which is about to enter its third year.
As he announced the changes on Thursday, Zelensky said there was no politics in the move and that he felt renewal of the armed forces was needed after setbacks for Ukraine's ground operations in 2023.
Ukrainian troops retaliated last summer, but proved unable to break through the heavily defended Russian border.
A significant new package of US military aid has since been delayed for several months due to opposition from Republican Congress.

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