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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Zelenskiy Urges Military Overhaul Following Commander’s Dismissal

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called for swift changes in Ukraine’s military operations and announced the removal of the commander of its medical forces. The Ukrainian president made this decision during a meeting with Defense Minister Rustem Umerov on Sunday, coinciding with ongoing discussions about the conduct of the 20-month-old war against Russia. There are concerns about the pace of the counteroffensive in the east and south.

“In today’s meeting with Defense Minister Umerov, we established priorities,” Zelenskiy stated in his nightly video address. “Time is running out for results. Immediate action is required for upcoming changes.” Zelenskiy explained that Major General Tetiana Ostashchenko had been replaced as the commander of the medical forces, emphasizing the need for a significantly improved level of medical support for Ukrainian soldiers. This improvement includes addressing issues such as better tourniquets, digitalization, and enhanced communication.

Umerov acknowledged the change on the Telegram messaging app and highlighted digitalization, “tactical medicine,” and the rotation of service personnel as top priorities. Ukraine’s military has reported advances in recapturing occupied areas in the east and south, acknowledging control over areas in the southern Kherson region last week.

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In a recent essay, Gen Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, noted that the war was entering a new attrition stage, emphasizing the need for more sophisticated technology to counter the Russian military. While Zelenskiy has stressed that progress will take time, he denies that the war is heading into a stalemate and has called on Kyiv’s Western partners, particularly the United States, to maintain military support levels.

Maj Gen Anatoliy Kazmirchuk, head of a military clinic in Kyiv, replaced Ostashchenko. Her dismissal followed suggestions from a Ukrainian news outlet that her removal, along with others, was imminent after consultations with paramedics and officials responsible for military support.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, air defense units in Moscow intercepted a drone targeting the city, according to Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. Sobyanin, writing on the Telegram messaging app, reported that units in the Elektrostal district had successfully intercepted the drone. Preliminary information indicated that falling debris from the operation caused no casualties or damage.

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