Pentagon reaffirms readiness to work with new commander-in-chief

Celeste Wallander, US Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs. Photo by CNN
Celeste Wallander, US Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs. Photo by CNN
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Commenting on the changes in Ukraine's military leadership, Celeste Wallander, US Assistant Secretary of Defence, has reaffirmed the US’s readiness to work with the new Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Source: European Pravda, citing Wallander, quoted by Reuters

Details: The Pentagon aide stressed that "Zelenskyy is the president of his country and Ukraine, unlike Russia, has a democratic civilian control of the military."

"The United States respects and will work with whoever the democratically elected government, the leader, President Zelenskyy, chooses to be his commander-in-chief, and we will work effectively with General Syrskyi – we already have," she added.

Wallander called Syrskyi "an experienced, successful commander".

There have been weeks of speculation in Ukraine that the president was going to dismiss General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Finally, on 8 February, Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi simultaneously announced a joint meeting and changes in the leadership of the Armed Forces. Zelenskyy later appointed Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Washington Post, citing two sources familiar with the discussion, reported on 2 February that the Ukrainian government had informed the White House of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s decision to dismiss Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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