Ukraine | Zelensky replaces special operations commander for the second time in six months
Defence Redefined
Published on 10/05/2024 at 17:32

Yesterday, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, replaced the special operations commander for the second time in a year.

The removal of Colonel Serhii Lupanchuk and the appointment of Brigadier Oleksandr Trepak in his place was announced in two decrees on the presidency’s website without further explanation of the move.

Since 2014, Trepak has been actively involved in defence operations in eastern Ukraine against Russian-backed separatists. He led the effort to repel the Russian attack on Donetsk airport, one of the largest operations at the time.

The military command structure of the Ukrainian Army has changed at various levels since February, when Zelensky replaced Army Chief Valery Zaluzny with the then Army Commander Oleksandr Sirsky in a major reshuffle.

At the time, Zelensky said that a new military leadership was taking control of the Armed Forces and promised to reboot the system by bringing in experienced commanders who understand the troops’ day-to-day needs.

The reshuffle comes at an uncertain time for Ukraine as Russian troops begin to advance in the east, taking advantage of the Ukrainian military’s manpower shortages at the front, as well as dwindling stocks of artillery shells.

In a separate decree, Zelensky also yesterday reappointed Dmytro Herekha as Commander of the Army’s Support Forces, a post from which he had been dismissed in March without explanation.

Lupanchuk was appointed head of Special Forces last November after his predecessor Viktor Khorenko was suddenly fired. Horenko’s removal was seen at the time as a sign of a growing rift between Zelensky and the then Army Chief who was removed months later.

With information from: Euronews

Also read: Ukraine | New spokeswoman for Foreign Ministry looks real…but she’s not

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