Zelenskyy shuffles military leadership; Colombian mercenaries arrive in Ukraine

"I appointed Major General Anatoliy Barhylevych as the new Chief of General Staff."- Zelenskyy said.

by Sead Dedovic
Zelenskyy shuffles military leadership; Colombian mercenaries arrive in Ukraine
© Paul Morigi / Getty Images News

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appointed Major General Anatoliy Barhylevych as the new Chief of the General Staff, replacing Serhiy Shaptala. Anatoliy Barhylevych is a person from whom great things are expected in the future. Considering his leadership skills and experience, Ukrainians can be happy with this choice.

In his nightly video address, Zelenskyy spoke of the new Chief of the General Staff in superlatives. Zelenskyy confirmed his decisions and confirmed that he had talks with Rust Umerov. The Ukrainian leader believes that Barhylevych is the right person for the position of Chief of the General Staff. He did not forget to thank Serhiy Shaptala for helping Ukraine in the previous two years.

"Today I held meetings with the command of our defense and security forces of Ukraine and the Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov. I dismissed the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. I thank Lieutenant General Serhiy Shaptala for his service during these two years of war. At the suggestion of Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi, I appointed Major General Anatoliy Barhylevych as the new Chief of General Staff. An experienced individual, he understands the tasks of this war and the goals of Ukraine."- Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy also announced that Oleksandr Syrskyi has chosen his deputies and that the president will sign the corresponding decrees on their appointments. Deputy Chiefs of Staff were also elected. This team is expected to do great things in the future. It has been announced for months that Zelenskyy will make certain moves and replace individuals in the military leadership of Ukraine. Given that some of the goals were not achieved, his decision was expected. Zelenskyy wants to change the course of the war and help his country save itself in the most difficult times in history. Zelenskyy expects his decisions to bring positive results.

The new commander-in-chief, Oleksandr Syrskyi, is also spoken of in superlatives. He is a person who also possesses top qualities and experience.

The Ukrainian leader also announced some other changes regarding the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which could lead Ukraine in the right direction. This year, Zelenskyy intends to make moves to change the course of the war and achieve a huge advantage. He is aware of the weight of his task, but also that he had to make some changes. 

Looking at the course of the war in the last two years, Zelenskyy can be pleased, considering the predictions of military and political analysts. Nevertheless, Zelenskyy thinks that at some moments the Ukrainians could have done much more than they actually did. The main culprits are always the military leadership. They are also the ones who feel the consequences first.

"There is an obvious need to improve the quality of training for the warriors – only trained soldiers can be on the front line. A new type of forces is being created in the structure of the Armed Forces – the Unmanned Systems Forces. The first commander is to be appointed," says Zelenskyy.

Colombian soldiers come to help Ukraine

The recent information gives us a good understanding of Ukraine's leadership intentions.

Ukrainian fighters, tired from two years of battling Russia, are now welcoming experienced soldiers from Colombia, the Associated Press (AP) reported. These Colombian professionals, known for fighting drug cartels, join volunteers worldwide responding to President Zelensky's call to confront Russia. There are already only words of praise about these soldiers, considering the announcements that they are one of the most prepared and that they will be a great reinforcement for the Ukrainians.
Colombia, with the second-largest army in Latin America, sees retired soldiers heading to Ukraine. Despite lower salaries in Colombia, these soldiers can earn more in Ukraine, where they receive higher pay and compensation for injuries or death in combat. 

Inside Ukraines Move to Outsmart Russia in Electronic Warfare!
Inside Ukraines Move to Outsmart Russia in Electronic Warfare!© Getty Images News/Alexey Furman

While some see this as a financial opportunity, others express concerns about the motivations of the Colombian fighters. The financial lure, along with the challenging circumstances of Ukrainian soldiers, raises questions about the nature of their commitment to the conflict.

Ukrainians have already talked about problems regarding soldiers and recruitment. The number of individuals willing to go to the front and defend Ukraine is diminishing. This influenced the Ukrainian political and military leadership to look for alternatives and find military strength. The choice fell on the Colombians, who are ready at this moment to help Ukraine, with of course a financial injection.

As the situation with Russia remains tense, Ukraine continues to expand its international recruitment efforts. Despite concerns, the exact number of foreign fighters on the battlefield is currently undisclosed due to military secrecy.

We will probably know better in the future how many foreign soldiers are currently fighting on the side of either Russia or Ukraine. Looking at the history of many wars, it is clear that foreign mercenaries have always been a daily occurrence on the fronts.