Oleksandr Syrsk is gaining command of the armed forces during a period of uncertainty on the availability of resources and as Russia prepares for war by increasing production and recruiting.

The individual who oversaw the military forces of Ukraine for the past two years has resigned, confirming the worst-kept secret in Kyiv.

On Thursday, following months of deteriorating relations and ten days of rumors and speculation, President Volodymyr Zelensky took over as General Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

The declaration is expected to signal a shift in Ukrainian policy at this pivotal point in the conflict with Russia. However, it is also dangerous.

Zaluzhnyi’s dismissal from the top command coincides with Ukrainian forces losing ground along much of the front line, particularly in the eastern Donetsk and Kharkiv districts. They are running out of veteran soldiers and have an acute shortage of shells and other ammunition.

With a far wider pool of personnel to choose from than Ukraine, the Russian war machine is operating at maximum capacity and can restock its forces more quickly. Russia is evading international sanctions, and a large portion of its military expenditures are financed by its oil earnings.

There was a “frank discussion about what needs to be changed in the army,” according to Zelensky and Zaluzhnyi. urgent adjustments “The public mood has been affected by the feeling of stagnation in the southern areas and the difficulties in the fighting in the Donetsk region,” he continued.

In fact, the general tone has darkened. A recent survey conducted in Ukraine found that the percentage of respondents who thought things were going badly rose from 16% in May 2022 to 33% in December 2023.

General Oleksandr Syrskyi, Zaluzhnyi’s replacement, is believed to be closer to Zelensky, but it is unclear that he will make a drastic change in approach.

Since the Russian invasion, Syrskyi has commanded land forces; nonetheless, he faced criticism for prolonging Bakhmut’s defense at significant human cost. His lack of empathy has been reported by subordinates, and some soldiers have started referring to him as “General 200.” (The military uses the code “200” for killed-in-action.)

Matthew Schmidt, the director of the University of New Haven’s International Affairs program in Connecticut, states that Syrskyi is “seen as a consensus choice.”

“Some say he’s the best of the worst kind of general; others say he’s too Soviet, which means unimaginative but capable; still others say he doesn’t take uncomfortable truths well, something Zaluzhnyi did.”

Schmidt claims that the current possibilities are limited. “Perhaps this is a stage of the war where it’s best to play it safe.”

Stabilizing the front lines will be Syrskyi’s first priority. Moreover, he received emails on how to resupply some of the most capable battalions in Ukraine, how to hasten the delivery of Western weapons to the front lines, and how to survive until such time.

The importance of longer-range strikes against Russian infrastructure, such as military sites and fuel depots, incorporating F-16 combat aircraft into battle plans, and expeditiously developing the upcoming generation of unmanned systems are among the other goals.

Scarcity in the front lines

According to Schmidt, “the first priority is making sure you can hold the current line of contact” in the face of ongoing Russian attacks at Avdiivka and Kupyansk.

“Putin can still use his tactical deficiency to his advantage and murder thousands of his soldiers in an effort to seize large areas of territory. He continues, “Any new chief of staff has to accept that risk.

In recent weeks, CNN was informed by frontline units in multiple susceptible regions that they frequently experienced a chronic shortage of ammunition, especially Western 155mm artillery shells. At one gun position, they reported that after running out of high-explosive ammo, the troops were resupplied with smoke shells.

“It’s preferable to having no shells,” a soldier stated.

Ammunition is “one of the most decisive factors” in the fight, according to Lt. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukrainian Military Intelligence, who spoke with CNN at the end of January.

The US has been sending lesser packages of military aid to Ukraine for some months now since Congress has blocked the Biden administration’s $61 billion package. US officials claim that this slowness has already started to impact the military’s planning and operations in Ukraine.

“Getting enough artillery shells to the front is the immediate priority, according to Schmidt, to prevent the Russians from taking advantage of the pause in US aid.” For every artillery shell that can be fired, less infantry is required to hold the line.

Improving European munitions production and clearing the US military aid backlog are crucial if Ukraine is to go from clinging to self-defense. With an estimated production of only half a million artillery shells for Ukraine in the year ending in March, the EU has admitted it would fall well short of its target.

Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, stated last week that “shells are what a soldier at the front says he needs most right now.” Yesterday, a month ago, six months ago, and a year ago, this response was the same.

“Main objective is to prevent a shell famine from occurring as a result of the shell shortage,” he continued.

By newsparviews.com

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