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Ukraine to fire generals and send them to front line

Ukraine plans to sack some of its army generals and send them to the front line in an effort to boost morale among soldiers.

Kyiv has been struggling against waves of Russian attacks as it loses ground in the eastern Donetsk region.

Soldiers have complained they are outmanned and outgunned and that the military’s upper ranks are bloated.

The army has not said how many generals would be reassigned but it said it would cut around two thirds of top staff.

A Ukrainian soldier carrying a mortar shell in Chasiv Yar. The army is under pressure from increased Russian attacks – Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu via Getty

“With the released personnel, it is planned to replenish units at the operational and tactical levels, as well as military combat units,” said Brig Gen Yevhen Ostryansky, head of Ukrainian military defense planning.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, Ukraine has looked to modernize its military in line with Nato countries.

As well as reducing the number of generals, that means empowering non-commissioned officers and junior officers to make battlefield decisions.

Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers were trained by Nato forces in Europe last year and Nato military planners integrated ahead of the country’s much-hyped counter-offensive.

Ukrainian army medics treat wounded soldiers at a stabilization point – Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu via Getty

However, with the counter-offensive proving a disappointment and Russia steadily making gains on the ground, Ukraine is under pressure to bolster frontline forces and give tired units to rest.

The recruitment drive it was banking on has not panned out as expected.

In his briefing, Gen Ostryansky said that strengthened recruitment rules and the redeployment of generals from rear command centers to frontline combat units would allow more exhausted soldiers to rest.

“This will make it possible to rotate units that perform combat tasks in the combat zone for a long time,” he said.

Russia has been advancing along the front line in Ukraine since October, and earlier this month it opened a new front north of Kharkiv.

Since he took over as commander in chief of Ukraine’s military in February, Gen Oleksandr Syrskyi has been credited with injecting more energy and purpose into Kyiv’s forces.

He regularly tours front-line units and is a favorite among Ukrainian soldiers.

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