Ukraine, who is Syrsky, Zelensky’s general who commands the advance on the North East-

from Marta Serafini

Commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, the face of the operation that could change the course of the war

I’m sure this isn’t the last city. It is the face of victory in Kupiansk, a strategic hub snatched from the Russian soldiers in a few hours and ofadvance on the North East that could change the fate of the war. Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, 57, who in a video released on social media by the Ukrainian staff in uniform stood out on the battlefield in camouflage while giving a speech to prepare his men for battle.

He is the face of the counter-offensive and it is said that he was the one who convinced Zelensky’s war cabinet to try the assault towards the North-East. Commander of the Ukrainian ground forces since 2019, when the Russians invaded Ukraine in late February, Syrskyi in command of Kiev. These are the most difficult and most dramatic days of the war, but his men manage to withstand the impact and then push the Russians back. In September Zelensky puts him in command of the Kharkiv counter-offensive and decorates him with the Golden Starthe highest award given to Ukrainian commanders, in the White Room of the Mariinsky Palace in Kiev.

But Syrskyi’s experience begins well before the battle for Kiev. In Donbass in the 2000s, he commanded the 72nd Mechanized Brigade and here, in the field, he is promoted to major general. Then from 2013 he became the first deputy head of the main command center of the Ukrainian armed forces and is involved in cooperation processes with NATO. It is in this period that he probably cultivates those relationships that will then allow him to work closely with the allies in Kiev. Then in 2019 comes the promotion to commander of the ground forces of the Ukrainian armed forces and the following year he becomes colonel general, a rank no longer assigned in the Ukrainian army since 1 October of the same year, but which Syrskyi maintains, unique in the whole army.

Remained behind the scenes in recent months, it is said that yesterday he personally wanted to plant the Ukrainian flag in Izyum. While everyone in Kiev now hopes that that phrase – I am sure this is not the last city – can be repeated over and over again.

September 11, 2022 (change September 11, 2022 | 11:59 am)

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