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Zelensky announces new chief of general staff

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has named Major General Anatoliy Barhilevych as the new Chief of General Staff for Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Zelensky announced during his evening address on Feb. 9.

Zelensky made the appointment at the request of Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi, one day after Syrskyi himself was appointed to the top post on Feb. 8. Barhilevych replaces Lieutenant General Serhii Shaptala, who has served in his position since July 2021.

The change in ranks comes amid a shakeup in the country’s leadership nearly two years into Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with Zelensky citing the need for “fresh energy” both in political and military leadership positions.

Following months of reports about a rift in Ukraine’s political and military leadership, President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who had led Ukraine’s military since before the full-scale invasion.

During his address Zelensky described Barhilevych as “an experienced individual who understands the tasks of this war and Ukrainian objectives.”

Zelensky also announced that Syrskyi has finalized candidates for the deputy chief positions of the General Staff, and Zelensky will be signing a decree in the coming days.

Read also: Zelensky dismisses Chief Commander Zaluzhnyi, appoints Syrskyi in his place

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