Zelenskyy sacks medical forces chief
The Japan Times
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday demanded rapid changes in the operations of Ukraine’s military and announced the dismissal of the commander of the military’s medical forces. Zelenskyy’s move was announced as he met Defense 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. “In today’s meeting with Defense Minister Umerov, priorities were set,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. “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 Armed Forces 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, digitalization and better communication. Umerov acknowledged the change on the Telegram messaging app and set as top priorities digitalization, “tactical medicine” and rotation of servicemen. Ukrainian commander in chief General Valery Zaluzhniy, 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 U.S., 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 following consultations with paramedics and other officials responsible for providing support to the military.