Poroshenko appoints new Joint Forces Commander
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has appointed Lieutenant-General Oleksandr Syrsky as Joint Forces Commander.
"I took the decision to support the proposal of Ukraine's defense minister and appoint Lieutenant-General Oleksandr Syrsky to the position of Joint Forces Commander," Poroshenko said during a meeting with soldiers in Donetsk region on Monday.
The president said the decision to rotate Joint Forces Operation (JFO) leadership was made at the suggestion of Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko.
Poroshenko emphasized that he had agreed with the proposal to rotate JFO leaders.
"Oleksandr Stanislavovych [Syrsky] successfully rose up through the ranks from platoon commander to the deputy chief of the General Staff ... He took an active part in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) under difficult conductions in 2014-2015. First, he was Chief of Staff, later headed the ATO in the most difficult conditions of our history," the president said.
Poroshenko thanked ex-JFO commander Serhiy Nayev for his work over the past year.
"Thanks to Nayev and all the JFO servicemen for their courage, determination and resilience," Poroshenko said.
Syrsky in the beginning of 2010s was first deputy chief of the Joint Operational Command of Ukraine's Armed Forces and served as chief of staff. Since the beginning of the ATO in eastern Ukraine, he was in charge of "S" sector headquarters, one of the main commanders of the ATO forces fighting in Debaltseve in the winter of 2015. He coordinated the exit of the Ukrainian soldiers from Debaltseve, for which he was awarded the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky III degree. He later was promoted to Lieutenant-General and involved in the battles for Vuhlehirsk and Ridkodub.
In 2016, Syrsky headed JFO headquarters. In 2017, he became ATO commander until it was converted into the JFO.