The replacement of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, is connected with the reboot of the military leadership, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with the Fox News channel.

Zelensky spoke with American television host Bret Baier at a location near the front lines in Kharkiv.

Answering a question about why he dismissed Zaluzhny and the key leadership of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Zelensky said it was a reboot, restructuring and change of military command management.

“We have to be [quicker]. That means [losing] all the bureaucracy that we have. Otherwise, we will not have any chance,” he said.

Zelensky said: “[We must] be smart, more technologically [equipped] and, of course, quick.”

“Time is money, and in our case it’s not money, it’s people, people’s lives,” he said.


The news channel also asked Zelensky why he'd awarded the Hero of Ukraine title and whether the former commander's political support for the president would continue or whether he'd join the opposition.

The president replied that it was Zaluzhny’s choice.

“He defended our nation, our country. That’s why I presented him with the title of Hero of Ukraine. I am very grateful to him,” Zelensky said.

Bayer asked the Ukrainian leader if he knew what Ukraine’s losses in this war were.

“We know tens of thousands of people have been killed. Tens of thousands of children have been deported, we know about this,” Zelensky said.

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“The ratio is one to five. One Ukrainian soldier killed in action equals five Russian soldiers killed in action,” he added.

On Feb. 8, Zelensky announced the replacement of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (AFU) following months of rumors regarding a conflict between the two surfacing in Ukrainian media.

In a social media post, Zelensky stated that he had met with Zaluzhny and expressed gratitude for his two years of defending Ukraine. They discussed the necessary renewal for the AFU and deliberated on potential candidates to join the renewed leadership of the Armed Forces.


Zelensky asked Zaluzhny to remain part of the team.

After announcing his dismissal, Zaluzhny said: “The tasks of 2022 are different from those of 2024. Therefore, everyone must change and adapt to the new realities in order to win together.”

Zaluzhny was replaced by Oleksandr Syrsky, who commanded Ukrainian forces defending Kyiv and Kharkiv.

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