Ukraine’s Zelenskyy signals military leadership shakeup

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, centre, during his visit to Zaporizhzhia region, the site of fierce battles with the Russian troops in Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024.  AP
Published February 6, 2024

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he is thinking about dismissing the country’s top military officer as part of a broader leadership shakeup, a possibility that has shocked the nation fighting a war to end Russia’s invasion and also worried Ukraine’s Western allies.

Zelenskyy confirmed in an interview with Italian broadcaster RAI TV released late Sunday that he was thinking about removing Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the popular commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces. He said he was contemplating the move to ensure the country remains led by individuals who are “convinced of victory” against Russia.

“A reset, a new beginning is necessary,” Zelenskyy said. The review is “not about a single person but about the direction of the country’s leadership.”

“I’m thinking about this replacement, but you can’t say here we replaced a single person,” Zelenskyy said. “When we talk about this, I mean a replacement of a series of state leaders, not just in a single sector like the military. If we want to win, we must all push in the same direction, convinced of victory. We cannot be discouraged, let our arms fall. We must have the right positive energy.”



RELATED: Ukraine’s Donetsk region pounded by up to 2,500 Russian strikes daily – governor

Published February 6, 2024

DONETSK REGION, Ukraine – Russia is firing between 1,500 and 2,500 shells and rockets at Ukraine’s war-ravaged Donetsk region every day and is targeting critical infrastructure to make it harder for people to remain there in winter, its governor told Reuters.

The eastern province, 57% of which is occupied by Russia, has been at the forefront of war since 2014, when Russian-backed proxies seized the region’s capital city, also called Donetsk, as well as many other large towns.

Since Russia launched a full-scale invasion in 2022, this has been where many of the war’s most vicious and protracted battles have occurred.

“The enemy shells (the region) from 1,500 to 2,500 times a day,” Governor Vadym Filashkin said in an interview on Friday, adding he believed Moscow was still aiming to capture the entire region.

“The enemy’s shelling is this dense, this heavy, almost every day.”



RELATED: Borrell visits Ukraine as Zelenskyy asks court to extend martial law

Published February 5, 2024

EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell confirmed on Monday he was heading for Ukraine as he repeated calls for more aid for the war-torn country.

This will be Borrell’s fourth visit to the country since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.


Borell said the renewed push to help Ukraine replenish its weapons stocks was necessary for it to “defeat invasion”.

Earlier last week, the EU had admitted the bloc would not be able to supply Ukraine with the promised one million artillery shells by March. As it stands, around 524,000 shells will be delivered to Ukraine by the original date, which represents roughly 52% of its target.

Last week, the European Union approved a further €50 billion support package for Ukraine.




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