Ukraine’s new army chief signals tougher approach as predecessor gets top honour

Among the main challenges facing the Ukrainian armed forces are a shortage of manpower and inadequate supplies of Western weapons.

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Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi signalled on Friday that he plans to take a tougher approach than his predecessor following a major shake-up of the country’s military leadership aimed at reigniting momentum in the deadlocked war with Russia.

Syrskyi said his immediate goals are to improve the troop rotation at the front lines and harness the power of new technology, at a time when Kyiv’s forces are largely on the defensive in the war with Russia.

“New tasks are on the agenda,” Syrskyi said on his Telegram channel.

Though he provided little detail, his remarks appeared to align with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s stated aim of bringing “renewal” to the armed forces with Thursday’s shake-up and adopting a fresh approach to the fight.

Among the main challenges facing the Ukrainian armed forces are a shortage of manpower and inadequate supplies of Western weapons, including ammunition.

Syrskyi’s predecessor, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, was meanwhile awarded the country’s highest honour on Friday, receiving Golden Star Award from Zelenskyy during a ceremony in Kyiv.

Other top members of the military including the chief of Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Kyrylo Budanov were also presented with the honour. 

Ukrainian authorities reported over 90 Russian combat clashes on Friday, including 49 airstrikes, and 52 rocket strikes on Ukrainian troops’ positions and populated areas.

As a result of the air strike in the Sumy region, two civilians were killed, four were injured, and houses, a farm and a warehouse were damaged.