Zelenskyy replaces top military commander in wider leadership shake-up

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday replaced the country’s highest-ranking army general of the country in a national military shake-up. Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi was relieved of his position and thanked by Zelenskyy for his service — the president said it was not indicative of poor performance but part of bigger refresh of the military.”The time for such a renewal is now,” Zelenskyy said.Zaluzhnyi, who remains highly popular with Ukrainian troops and civilians alike, was replaced as commander-in-chief by Сol. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi.ZELENSKYY CONSIDERS DISMISSING UKRAINE’S TOP MILITARY OFFICER AS PART OF A BROAD LEADERSHIP SHAKEUP In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, centre, during his visit to Zaporizhzhia region, the site of fierce battles with the Russian troops in Ukraine, on Feb. 4, 2024. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)”A reset, a new beginning is necessary,” Zelenskyy said. He claimed the review is “not about a single person but about the direction of the country’s leadership.”The changing of the guard comes close to the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion — a conflict not expected to last this long due to the drastically different military capabilities going into the war.UKRAINE’S ‘UNDERGROUND RAILROAD’ RESCUES ABDUCTED UKRAINIAN CHILDREN FROM RUSSIAN REEDUCATION CAMPS Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has replaced the military’s commander-in-chief Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi heading into the second anniversary of the Russian invasion. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File)The duration of the war has stressed Ukraine’s manpower and left the pool of combatants shallow.Citizens turned out in force at the start of the conflict, signing up in huge numbers that kept the fighting force strong. Stories recounted how even old women had signed up for military training to rebuff Russia’s invasion.Going into the second year of the conflict, Kyiv hyped up its counteroffensive for the spring and summer, but the effort failed to produce the anticipated results, leading many to question the future of the conflict and resist further plans to fund and equip Ukraine without a clear end in sight for the conflict.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Oleksandr Syrskyi awards Ukrainian fighters of the 10th Mountain Assault Brigade “Edelweiss” in the Soledar direction in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.  (Yuriy Mate/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)Despite the lack of manpower, the Ukrainian military has remained a difficult opponent to Russian invading forces — which has been suffering its own setbacks.Last week, Ukrainian media touted a major victory over the Russian fleet with the publication of a video that allegedly showed the destruction of a nearly $70 million missile ship, the Ivanovets. Multiple drones hit the vessel and sank it, with the crew’s fate unknown. “As a result of a number of direct hits to the hull, the Russian ship received damage that was incompatible with further movement – the Ivanovets tilted to the stern and sank,” said the Military Informant Telegram channel.Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report. Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at timothy.nerozzi@fox.com

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