President Volodymyr Zelensky spent all day Saturday in meetings with his new team of military leadership. 

“We continue to reboot the management team in the Armed Forces,” he wrote on his official Telegram channel. 

On Sunday, Zelensky signed a decree appointing Gen. Yuriy Sodol as the Commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to replace Gen. Serhiy Naiev. Since 2018, Sodol was the commander of Ukraine's Marines.

 

Among the officers Zelensky gathered were people the President described as “well known in the army and whothemselves know well what the army needs.” He added that they “are taking on new responsibilities.”

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Apart from the new Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky, whose reputation as a hard-edged and cunning tactician is well known in Ukraine, there are several relatively new faces:

Colonel Vadym Sukharevsky’s focus will be on uncrewed systems and the development of drones.

Colonel Andriy Lebedenko will focus on innovation, specifically the technology component of the army and combat systems. “Clear practice with new technologies is needed,” Zelensky said.

Brigadier General Volodymyr Horbatiuk will concentrate on operational work, staff work, planning and management. “In every staff, they must fully understand the front,” Zelensky said, repeating a leitmotiv from the previous day when he announced that he insists his new commanders be familiar with the front rather than languishing at headquarters.

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Brigadier General Oleksiy Shevchenko has been tasked to develop logistics, “ensuring maximum quality of logistics in our army.” 

Meanwhile Brigadier General Mykhailo Drapaty will be responsible for training soldiers. Drapaty has commanded Joint Forces Kherson since the start of the full-scale war. His first job was constructing ad hoc defensive lines in the early days of Russia’s 2022 attack on Ukraine, following a Kremlin breakthrough from Crimea reaching initially weak Ukrainian forces around the cities Kherson and Mykolaiv.

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“All the real-life experience of combat commanders, combat brigades, our units, who have built a quality training system for soldiers and evaluation and analysis of combat actions – all this experience must be implemented for the success of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Zelensky said.

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