Zelenskyy Removes Ukraine’s Joint Forces Commander

June 26, 2024 by No Comments

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Monday that he had replaced the commander of the Joint Forces of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, Lieutenant-General Yuri Sodol, following reports of poor performance in the 28-month-long war against Russia.

Zelenskyy, in his nightly video address, did not specify the reasons for the dismissal. He stated that Brigadier-General Andriy Hnatov would take over the position, which entails strategic planning of military operations.

Sodol’s removal, one of several recent personnel changes, came after the publication of a letter by Bohdan Krotevych, commander of Ukraine’s renowned Azov regiment, accusing Sodol of actions leading to significant military setbacks.

In a Telegram post, Krotevych, while not naming Sodol, stated that an unnamed general “has killed more Ukrainian soldiers than any Russian general.”

“What I do care about is that combat battalion and brigade commanders are put on trial for losing an observation post, but a general is not put on trial for losing regions, dozens of cities and thousands of soldiers,” Krotevych wrote.

“All the military personnel now understand who I am talking about because 99 percent of the military hate him for what he does.”

The news outlet Ukrainska Pravda, citing a leaked report, reported that a criminal complaint had been filed against Sodol, who was promoted earlier this year, although it did not identify him. The outlet stated that Krotevych was willing to testify against him.

Hnatov had served as deputy commander of the southern theater of operations since 2022 and played a key role in recapturing much of the southern Kherson region from Russian forces.

In the spring of 2023, he led the defense of Bakhmut in the Donbas region, a town that eventually fell to Russian forces after months of intense fighting.

Krotevych, in a social media post following the president’s announcement, described Hnatov as a “very worthy officer”.

With Russian forces making gains and slowly advancing through eastern Ukraine in recent months, the Ukrainian military has undergone significant changes.

The military’s top commander, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, was dismissed in February after public disagreements with Zelenskyy regarding the conduct of the war.