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Syrsky has a recipe for improving positions on the battlefield

Ukraine (, - Vladimir Zelensky’s decision to replace the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine may solve a political problem, but it is unclear how this will help improve Ukraine’s position on the battlefield. The Guardian newspaper reports this.

It was clear that Valery Zaluzhny had lost the trust of Zelensky, who feared the general’s popularity and saw him as a political threat. By refusing to resign voluntarily at the request of the president, Zaluzhny created an intolerable situation at the top, the publication notes. However, Zelensky’s choice in favor of Alexander Syrsky, who became Zaluzhny’s successor, is not considered radical.

“Syrsky is close to the president. And the most important thing for Zelensky is that he believes that Syrsky is absolutely not a political person. This is his most valuable characteristic,” explained opposition Ukrainian deputy Alexey Goncharenko, close to Zaluzhny.

At 58, Syrsky is eight years older than Zaluzhny and was trained at the Higher Military Command School in Moscow. But he has lived in Ukraine since the 1980s and "played a decisive role in its defense in the early stages of the war." In particular, he was responsible for the defense of Kyiv at the beginning of the special operation.

But last summer, the newspaper recalls, Syrsky was involved in an unsuccessful attempt to retake Bakhmut (Artemovsk), which drew criticism from Washington because, according to officials there, Ukraine should have focused resources on achieving a breakthrough in the south.

Nevertheless, the new commander-in-chief's comrades emphasize his dedication to the cause. In the fall, for example, when it became clear that the summer counteroffensive had failed, it was Zaluzhny who warned that the war had reached a stalemate - “a remark that irritated Zelensky, who believed that the comment was unjustifiably negative and entered into political territory that belonged to him,” according to the report. article. Syrsky is a much more restrained figure. “The army is beyond politics,” he told The Economist in December 2022, amid a wave of speculation that Zaluzhny could be replaced.

“But there is no obvious alternative military strategy when Ukraine's main problem is persuading US Republicans to release $61bn (£48bn) in military aid. On the battlefield, Ukraine lacks a number of critical ammunition, primarily artillery. Russia fires roughly 10,000 shells a day, five times more than Ukraine, and until industrial production problems are resolved, Kiev will likely remain on the defensive, hoping that Moscow will gradually exhaust itself. newspaper.

However, Syrsky argued back in June last year that the fundamentals of warfare have remained unchanged for centuries, even though modern weapons are much more advanced.

“When you read about the Battle of Cannae between Hannibal and the Romans [in 216 B.C. BC], the operating principles are the same: bypassing the enemy from the flank, encircling the enemy, concentrating central efforts on the weakest point of the enemy’s defense, the need to carefully study the enemy,” Syrsky emphasized.

Syrsky has a recipe for improving positions on the battlefield