This is how the ÖB exchange can affect Ukraine

Two years into the war, Zelenkyj has appointed a new commander-in-chief – Oleksandr Syrskyi.
According to Jakob Hedenskog, analyst at the Center for Eastern European Studies, the change could have long-term consequences for Ukraine.
– If you change the line-up, there will be a period of uncertainty where not much may happen for a while, he says.

Last week, President Zelenskyy replaced his very popular Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhyny, and introduced his replacement, Army Chief Oleksandr Syrskyy.

“I thank him for the two years he defended Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed X.

Just one day later, the president announced new changes in the military leadership and appointed a new chief of staff.

The resignation came after weeks of rumors of disagreements between Zelenskyi and Zaluzhny, fueling speculation about the reason for the decision to fire Zaluzhny.

“He has not given any credible explanation”

According to Jakob Hedenskog, analyst at the Center for Eastern European Studies, there may be political reasons behind Zelensky’s actions.

– He has not given any credible explanation, which is why many believe it may be political. He may have seen Zaluzhnyi as a popular general and commander and as a political threat to him, says Jakob Hedenskog in Efter fem.

Yesterday 19:40

Zelensky’s new commander-in-chief is called “The Butcher”

“Can affect morale”

Hedenskog adds that the political leadership is above the military in a democracy and that Zelenskyj as president has the right to replace a commander-in-chief.

However, he believes that the president is taking a big risk because the change could have consequences due to the ongoing war.

– In the short term, it can affect the morale of the forces. If you change the lineup, there is a period of uncertainty where maybe not much happens for a while because you have to feel around and find your closest partners and stake out the new policy. he says.

Can push for a plan B

In the longer term, the military leadership may become more compliant to the political leadership, Hedenskog believes.

But it can also affect support from the West.

– For the countries that are hesitating, this can appear as if there is a bigger crack in Ukraine, which can affect support for the country. You might then push more for a plan B, i.e. a negotiated solution. he says.

During the first days of the invasion, Syrskyi led the defense of the capital, Kiev.

Six months later, he co-commanded Ukraine’s successful blitz offensive in the fall of 2022 in the Kharkiv region.