Syrskyi the butcher?

Kyiv Post

However, even despite the understanding of the inevitable, the evening of Feb. 8 was a shock for Ukrainians. Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and other platforms. Everywhere.

Everyone wrote about the dismissal of Zaluzhny and the appointment of Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky in his place.

According to Zelensky, this is the reboot that the military needs now.

We spoke with representatives of the military who are currently defending the Ukrainian front. Most of them consider such changes to be negative. But some answered, “it’s too early to draw conclusions.”

However, they all agreed on one thing: no matter who is at the helm, the military will do everything for victory, as they did during Zaluzhny’s command.

“Valery Zaluzhny led the army in a difficult time for Ukraine, earning the respect, authority and support of the people!

One person can’t change a lot, he was able to! One of the reasons for the dismissal was allegedly a failed counterattack.

What do I see? I see the failure of supplies, the misunderstanding on the part of some people of the situation on the battlefield, demanding from Zaluzhny what we cannot do, all this in the complex is not his failure.

This is a failure of management of all branches of government! Regarding Syrsky. I think it is necessary to give a person time! I don’t think that anything global will change in the management of the troops!”

Andriy Batyukov, the commander of one of the companies of the amphibious assault troops, did not share his opinion.

Zaluzhnyi’s dismissal positively? There are no such people in my environment.

“Zaluzhny has one hundred percent authority in the army. And civilians too. What are the consequences of his release? I see an increase in the losses of Ukraine at the front. Because the Syrsky butcher.

I can hardly imagine the losses being increased/worse than they already are.

“He is a person who performs tasks from above, regardless of any objective strategic or tactical realities. I don’t want to be a pessimist, but I think that all the whims of the country’s leadership will be fulfilled, regardless of how they will affect the course of the war.”

“I will not talk about Syrsky’s mistakes in the past. There is even more about the fact that everyone loved Zaluzhny. But who could replace him… I don’t even know…” added Roman.

We also managed to communicate with those who had direct contact with Oleksandr Syrsky during a combat mission. However, the sergeant of the armed forces asked to keep his name confidential.

“We can recall many operations under his leadership during a full-scale invasion. This is one of the bloodiest operations.

“And we can sneak into the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Many soldiers blame Syrsky in particular for the failures of various battles, for poor planning, in particular, the result was the entire surroundings.

I want to encourage the population. But for now, it is very difficult to comment on something.

Oleksandr Mamai, a journalist in the past, and today a fighter of the “Offensive Guard”, believes that everything depends not on one person, but on a whole organism.

“It was noticeable that the Office of the President did not like the great popularity of Zaluzhny among Ukrainians. This was downright annoying to the Office. As for Syrsky, this is Zelensky’s favorite.

“It’s not a secret. I do not know to what extent he will be able to reveal his potential in his new position. But I would not change horses at the crossing.

Background on Syrsky from a June 2023 Economist article via

General Syrsky was born in 1965 in Vladimir, then in the Soviet Union, now in Russia. He has lived in Ukraine since the 1980s. Like most people of his age in Ukraine’s armed forces he trained at the Higher Military Command School in Moscow, the Soviet Union’s equivalent of America’s West Point, alongside peers who are now Russian commanders. Before becoming head of Ukraine’s land forces in 2019 he was the ground commander for operations in the east of the country and played a prominent role in the war that began in 2014 with Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

In July 2021 General Zaluzhny, who is eight years younger than General Syrsky and was then under his command, was promoted over his senior to lead Ukraine’s armed forces. After the invasion General Zaluzhny became so popular that allies of Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, worried that he could pose a political threat. Last summer some insiders argued that General Syrsky should replace him. The ground commander may agree. Cracks of disunity have worried Western military officials.

More recently he led the defence of Bakhmut. American military strategists argued that spending so much effort to defend a strategically insignificant town made little sense. But keeping the Russians physically and psychologically committed to a battle of attrition for such a meagre prize may have been a masterstroke.

That’s a bizarre way of describing the Bakhmut meat grinder, as a masterstroke, when Ukraine lost so many soldiers attempting to hold onto such a meagre prize.

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