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Zelenskyy ousts friend as he continues team’s reshuffle

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is cleaning out the ranks of his allies amid setbacks on the battlefield and increasing fatigue surrounding the war effort. Eight officials, mostly among Zelenskyy’s advisers, have been fired in the past two days. That includes two deputy heads of his administration and Serhii Shefir, a top aide who’s also been Zelenskyy’s business partner for decades.
The moves are part of an “optimization of the Presidential Office’s personnel,” Zelenskyy’s spokesman Serhiy Nikiforov said, adding similar actions are expected in other government agencies.
He intensified a reshuffle among military and government officials in recent weeks as Russia‘s full-scale invasion entered its third year.
Among those dismissed or asked to resign were former military commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the ex-head of the military’s general staff Serhii Shaptala, and the former head of the National Defence and Security Council Oleksiy Danilov.
Zelenskyy also said Ukraine will keep targeting Russian oil-refining facilities despite US discontent with its campaign. He warned that Kyiv’s forces may be compelled to retreat “step by step” without more military aid from allies. The drone attacks are in retaliation against Kremlin strikes on Ukraine’s energy grid and part of an effort to compel Moscow to stop them, the Washington Post said, citing an interview with Zelenskyy done Thursday in Kyiv.
Ukrainian forces have attacked more than a dozen refineries inside Russia with explosive-laden drones over the past month, slashing fuel production. But the strikes irked its allies in US who are concerned about rising domestic fuel prices in an election year, the Financial Times reported last week, citing people familiar with the issue.

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