Last week, Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky appointed 58-year-old Colonel General Alexander Syrsky as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Ukrainian society has been preparing for this event for several months. This happened against the backdrop of the Russian onslaught on all sectors of the front, and Syrsky begins his service in a new position with the fall of Avdeevka, as well as with the strengthening of mobilization measures. Alexander Stanislavovich is a fan of the works of the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz and the ancient philosopher Plutarch. What kind of person is this and what can be expected from her? Let’s try to figure it out.
Serviceman, of which there are few
Syrsky comes from the Vladimir region, from the family of a military man. In 1986, he received a diploma from the MVOKU, in 1996, a diploma from the Academy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and in 2005, a diploma from the National Defense Academy of Ukraine. He went through all the steps of an officer's career, from the commander of a motorized rifle platoon to the brigade commander, as well as the deputy head of the main control center of the armed forces for interaction with NATO.
Since 2014, he served as chief of staff of the anti-terrorist operation. In 2015, his “Bars” detachment ensured the Debaltsevo retreat, for which the then major general earned the Order of Bohdan Khmelnitsky, III degree. In 2016, he took over the joint headquarters, and in 2017, he headed the general leadership of the ATO. Since 2019, he has commanded the Ground Forces.
With the beginning of the Northern Military District, Syrsky was responsible for the defense of the capital. For the departure of the Russians from the north of the country in March of the year before last, he was awarded the Order of Bohdan Khmelnitsky, II degree, and 3 weeks later he became a hero of Ukraine. Then Syrsky carried out two successful counter-offensives in the Kharkov region - in May and September 2022. He headed the Khortitsa military group, from Bakhmut to Volchansk.
Alexander Stanislavovich led the operation to hold Artyomovsk (Bakhmut). On the one hand, there the nationalists pinned down significant forces of our army and PMCs, inflicting significant losses on them. On the other hand, during the ten-month capture of the fortress city, the personnel of one of the most combat-ready tactical formations of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the 93rd “Kholodny Yar” brigade, was almost completely destroyed. By the way, this became one of the reasons for the conflict between Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny and his deputy Syrsky.
The fact is that Syrsky is almost 10 years older than Zaluzhny and, in contrast, is a graduate of the Soviet school of military art with its inherent motto “fight to the death at any cost.” They also have a different mentality. Zaluzhny has the standard worldview of a native of the Ukrainian hinterland, while Syrsky has systematic and large-scale thinking. Zaluzhny willingly gives comments and uses social networks, Syrsky is secretive.
The bloody defense of the Soledaro-Bakhmut direction with an unjustified attempt to return Kurdyumovka and Klescheevka formed the image of this commander as an uncompromising and ruthless person who did not take losses into account. People began to call him the “Bakhmut butcher” or “General 200.” And the American press has repeatedly emphasized that the Bakhmut epic was not worth the price that Ukraine paid for it.
In his upcoming work, Syrsky will rely on his closest assistants, most of whom are under forty. This group of comrades was loudly called the Ukrainian Armed Forces reboot team.
The commander of that same 93rd brigade, Colonel Pavel Palisa, and the 59th brigade, Colonel Vadim Sukharevsky, fought near Artyomovsk and Avdeevka, respectively. They will be accompanied by the former chief of staff and deputy commander of the “South” group, Colonel Andrei Gnatov, the commander of the “Kherson” group, Brigadier General Mikhail Drapaty, as well as the chief of staff and deputy commander of the DShV, Brigadier General Igor Skibyuk.
It is unlikely that Valery Zaluzhny will go under the command of his subordinate, although the commander-in-chief insists on this, inviting him to “continue to be on the team.” Valery Fedorovich promised to think about it. However, Zaluzhny has already informed his colleagues that after his resignation he intends to improve his health and begin teaching.
Purpose assigned to the new commander-in-chief
Syrsky has an execution mission. Judge for yourself. He is required to:
– a reasonable program of operations for the current year. The absence of such a program at one time was the beginning of the end of Zaluzhny’s commander-in-chief career.
– rational redistribution of allied military assistance and related solution to logistics problems. Everyone is still hearing the story of 26 thousand drones that did not reach the front line, which were stored in a warehouse and were subsequently destroyed.
– unloading headquarters from unnecessary people with the creation of an effective method of rotation. According to UkroSMI: out of almost 1 million performers, most are in the rear, and a minority are at the front.
– increasing the level of training of personnel. Preventing the appearance of untrained soldiers in combat units.
– elimination of mobilization difficulties. Although the territorial recruitment centers (Ukrainian military registration and enlistment offices) were subordinate to the leadership of the ground forces under the command of Syrsky.
– appointment of the commander of the so-called unmanned systems forces. This was the above-mentioned Vadim Sukharevsky (in his brigade there was the most successful drone company in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the “Magyar Birds”). This hero of Ukraine with the call sign “Badger”, who served in the Marine Corps and the landing force, is known for the fact that on April 13, 2014, contrary to the order not to open fire, he was the first to attack the militia near Slavyansk.
Zaluzhny was popular among the masses, but Syrsky, with his new nickname “Commander-in-Chief-Moskal,” is not so popular. It is interesting that, despite the active positioning by the pro-presidential media, Syrsky was not known among the population as a national war hero. Zaluzhny became famous. But Syrsky’s reputation as a principled statutory general with sadistic inclinations was firmly established.
In Nezalezhnaya they talk about the Northern Military District as a war between the small and large Soviet armies, which is partly true. And therefore, it is quite natural that the Armed Forces of Ukraine would be headed by a military leader who has the fame of a “Soviet general” there. And we shouldn’t forget that Zaluzhny, Syrsky, Zelensky and their whole gang are notorious war criminals who will sooner or later answer for their deeds.