Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has demanded rapid changes in the operations of the country’s military and announced the dismissal of the commander of its medical forces.
His move was announced on Sunday as he met defence minister, Rustem Umerov, and coincided with debate over the conduct of the 20-month-old war against Russia, with questions over how quickly a counteroffensive in the east and south is proceeding.
Zelenskyy said, “In today’s meeting with defence minister Umerov, priorities were set.
“There is little time left to wait for results. Quick action is needed for forthcoming changes.”
Zelenskyy said he had replaced Maj Gen Tetiana Ostashchenko as commander of the medical forces.
“The task is clear, as has been repeatedly stressed in society, particularly among combat medics, we need a fundamentally new level of medical support for our soldiers,” he said.
This, he said, included a range of issues – better tourniquets, digitalisation and better communication.
Umerov acknowledged the change on the Telegram messaging app and set as top priorities digitalisation, “tactical medicine” and rotation of service personnel.
Ukraine’s military reports on what it describes as advances in recapturing occupied areas in the east and south and last week acknowledged that troops had taken control of areas on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in southern Kherson region.
Ukrainian commander in chief, Gen Valery Zaluzhny, in an essay published this month, said the war was entering a new stage of attrition and Ukraine needed more sophisticated technology to counter the Russian military.
While repeatedly saying advances will take time, Zelenskyy has denied the war is headed into a stalemate and has called on Kyiv’s western partners, mainly the United States, to maintain levels of military support.
Ostashchenko was replaced by Maj Gen Anatoliy Kazmirchuk, head of a military clinic in Kyiv.
Her dismissal came a week after a Ukrainian news outlet suggested her removal, as well as that of others, was imminent after consultations with paramedics and other officials responsible for providing support to the military.
Meanwhile on Sunday, air defence units in Moscow intercepted a drone targeting the city, mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.
Sobyanin, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said units in the Elektrostal district in the capital’s east had intercepted the drone.
According to preliminary information, falling debris resulting from the operation had caused no casualties or damage, Sobyanin said.