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Ukraine names former commander-in-chief as new ambassador to UK

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Amonth after Valerii Zaluzhnyi was ousted as the nation’s top military commander, Ukraine has named him as the new envoy to the United Kingdom, reported Al Jazeera.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine sent a request to the British side for an agreement,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Ukraine has not had an ambassador in the UK since President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed former envoy Vadym Prystaiko in July 2023 after he publicly criticised the leader.
Since the beginning of the war with Russia, Zaluzhnyi had commanded the Ukrainian army, which in the early going had successfully repelled an invasion force that was far more formidable.

Zaluzhnyi, who the Ukrainian media dubbed the “Iron General,” came to represent the nation’s resistance and had very high popular approval ratings, according to Al Jazeera.
However, the collapse of a highly acclaimed counteroffensive in the previous summer and a public disagreement with Zelenskyy damaged his standing in the president’s office.
Oleksandr Syrskii, who oversaw Ukraine’s fast autumn 2022 counteroffensive in the northern Kharkiv region, took over in February.

Zelenskyy took to X after Zaluzhnyi was fired to express gratitude to the military chief for his two years of service and to declared then that it was time for the military leadership to change.

After almost two years after Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, even Zaluzhnyi acknowledged that the country’s military approach “must change,” according to Al Jazeera.

Notably, Zaluzhnyi’s appointment as the new envoy to UK has come at a time when UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps travelled to Kyiv on Thursday.

“We prioritized strengthening Ukraine’s air defence and long-range capabilities, in addition to fulfilling other pressing requirements for armaments and ammunition and advancing cooperative weapon manufacturing,” Zelenskyy wrote in a post on X.
Following the meeting, the UK Ministry of Defense said that it will provide over 10,000 drones to Ukraine to support its counteroffensive against Russia.

The Statesman


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