Change in Ukraine's military leadership: Zelenskyy replaces eastern army commander

The Ukrainian president has once again made a move that has triggered various reactions.

by Sead Dedovic
Change in Ukraine's military leadership: Zelenskyy replaces eastern army commander
© Roman Pilipey / Getty Images

Ukrainians have faced issues with their military leadership since the beginning of the war, as conflicts, clashes, and missteps by Ukraine's army leaders have sparked anger from Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Ukrainian president has once again made a move that has triggered various reactions by dismissing the Commander of the Joint Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. 

Specifically, one soldier accused the commander of causing mass casualties in the war with Russia. Zelenskyy highlighted in a video address that Lieutenant General Yuriy Sodol was replaced by Brigadier General Andriy Hnatov

Ukrainian soldiers weren't happy with his orders and commands, which apparently resulted in a huge number of Ukrainian casualties. 

According to these allegations, Sodol was portrayed as a rigid person willing to do anything for success, possibly neglecting soldiers who gave their lives. Bohdan Krotevych, the leader of the Ukrainian Azov Regiment, publicly stated that Sodol was responsible for wrong decisions and understands why the military disliked him.

"All military personnel now understand who I'm talking about because 99% of the military hates him for what he does," said Krotevych.

Volodymyr Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky© Pool / Getty Images

Krotevych stresses that Hnatov is a great person for this role and could be someone who improves the situation on the front. Ukrainians haven't been doing well in recent months, but over the past few weeks, the situation has been improving and is significantly more stable. The Russians have made huge advances, taking advantage of the situation where Ukrainians were not adequately armed or capable of retaliating at that time. The situation is somewhat different now, with aid arriving and more recruits joining the efforts.

Krotevych wrote: "Hnatov is a very good officer. I hope the news from the front will improve."

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is someone who listens to any criticism and issues, ready to show teeth and make changes, all aimed at a more stable situation in the country and the success of the Ukrainian army. This Eastern country is at war with one of the world's largest powers, and it's not easy to fight against them. Through such changes, the Ukrainian leader wants to show everyone who is not doing the right things and affecting the poor atmosphere within the military that he is ready to dismiss them and give someone else a chance.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has always looked for changes after seeing things not working. The great sacrifices in the army are the last thing Ukraine needs, especially given its persistent issues with the number of soldiers.

Sodol was the leader of the forces stationed in the east and south after Russia's offensive caused fear among everyone. However, Ukrainians gathered their strength, fortified positions, and it seems that Russians will have huge problems advancing further. 

Ukraine's intentions will certainly be to reclaim lost territories and go all the way. Hnatov has been the deputy commander of the southern front for two years and had an important role in the successes of the Ukrainian army in some areas. Soldiers and leaders in the Ukrainian army are happy with these changes and actions by Zelenskyy, as Sodol evidently caused problems for his own army.

Ilija Ponomarenko, former defense correspondent at Kyiv Independent, considers this a great move, describing his era as a terrifying service. The fact that many people from the military leadership, political figures, and ordinary soldiers openly spoke about Sodol as a negative figure speaks volumes about the harm he clearly caused to this country. 

It is not known whether the Ukrainian president will continue to make similar moves in the coming period, as he aims to make further changes. If the work of certain individuals in the military leadership does not satisfy Zelenskyy, it is certain that he will not hesitate to take concrete actions and appoint the right people in the right places.

Ukrainians attacked Russian oil refineries

While Zelenskyy makes changes, Ukrainian forces are doing a great job on the front, especially since recent drone attacks on oil refineries, terminals, and depots have yielded positive results. Zelenskyy believes that his country has the right to defend itself and show teeth to the Russians who have been conducting attacks for some time now. One source for Kyiv Independent emphasized that Ukrainians will continue with such actions.

"The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) will continue to implement 'drone sanctions' against the Russian oil refining complex and reduce the economic potential of the enemy, which provides the aggressor with resources for waging war against Ukraine,"- a source said.

The goal of the Ukrainians is to influence the economy of this country. The Russians have been under heavy sanctions since the beginning of the war, and the latest events are not in their favor at all.