DRAMATIC footage shows the moment Ukraine’s new army chief “The Leopard” marches through Moscow with Russian forces clutching an AK-47.
General Oleksandr Syrskyi, now tasked with leading Zelensky’s forces to victory, was once a 21-year-old cadet with Soviet Russia’s Red Army.
The 58-year-old general was made Ukraine’s new commander-in-chief just days ago after the wildly popular Valerii Zaluzhnyi was sacked.
Now incredible clips show the battle-hardened officer as a young man, marching in form with his fellow troops in 1986.
Crossing the Red Square in a rigid march, the cadets paraded soviet rifles in front of then communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
The November march came five years before the Soviet Union’s collapse – at a point where tensions between Gorbachev’s empire and the West were running high.
Now Russian-born Syrski – whose parents still live there – has faced waves of cruel backlash from the country.
One top Russian MP branded him “Judas”, while ex-Kremlin president Dmitry Medvedev called him a “traitor”.
And his parents, who are in their 80s, have been subjected to vilification.
His 84-year-old dad, Stanislav Syrski was a colonel in the Red Army in Soviet times, who served in the USSR and East Germany.
Some of Putin’s most vile cronies have blamed the elderly parents for raising a “treacherous Nazi son”.
In a sickening outburst, Kremlin puppet and security chief Medvedev said: “Looking at the biography of the new commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Syrsky, you experience a feeling of hatred, contempt and disgust”.
Medvedev branded him “a man who was a Soviet Russian officer, but became a Bandera traitor who broke his oath and serves the Nazis, destroying his loved ones…
“Let the earth burn under his feet!” he raged.
And Russian MP Aleksey Zhuravlyov said: “It is clear that Syrsky, who was born and studied in Russia, is Judas, who betrayed everyone and everything, serving the cannibals and thugs who hate our country.”
But Syrski called on Putin’s jackals to stop “punishing his elderly parents”.
“Taking revenge on older people certainly goes against the code of honour of a Russian soldier,” he said.
Astonishingly the new Ukrainian commander is said to speak daily to his mother – in Russia – despite his role leading Kyiv’s defence against Putin’s illegal invasion.
His brother Oleg Syrsky, 51, also lives in Russia and works as a security officer.
According to the Moscow media, Syrski’s parents are “Russian patriots” .
Kremlin propaganda channel RT claimed: “The parents of the new [Ukrainian] commander-in-chief Syrskiy, who live in Russia, were ashamed to look people in the eye when they learned what he was doing in Ukraine.”
A source reportedly told the channel that his parents “‘spoilt their children with their kindness’, and now they don’t talk about their Nazi son at all, ‘as if he never existed’.”
But the same report quoted a family friend saying that the commander “calls his mother every single day…
“If he doesn’t call, he will definitely write a message.”
Syrski defied expectations when he led Ukraine’s efforts in defending Kyiv, and was appointed commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces in 2019.
Some sources say he is ruthless and lacks the popularity of his predecessor Zaluzhnyi among the ranks.
He has a reputation of taking the fight to the enemy even if it involves large losses of manpower and equipment.
An unnamed source told Politico that he has a reputation for the Soviet-style leadership – putting his men in danger if it means hitting military targets.
And he’s been described as obsessive with planning and regimen, boasting iron disipline.
His hardline techniques could be just the thing Ukraine needs as it approaches the third year of Putin’s brutal invasion.