Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has appointed a new commander of special army units that conduct operations in Russian-controlled Ukrainian territories
Zelensky said in his overnight address that Colonel Serhiy Lupanchuk was the new head of special forces and described him as “an experienced officer and the right man in command”.
The president commented that the previous chief, Major General Viktor Horenko, who led the special forces since July 2022, will continue to perform “tasks” within the Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense.
Zelensky did not give further explanations for the change, while Horenko commented that he knew nothing about the change.
“I personally don’t know the reasons. I can only say that I learned about it from the media,” Horenko told the Ukrainian Pravda news site.
“I spoke with the commander-in-chief (General Valery Zaluzhniy), who also failed to explain it. I don’t understand what happened,” added Lupanchuk.
The special forces are believed to be behind the most complex operations the Ukrainian army has conducted in the areas under Russian control, and in particular in Crimea.
The special forces are responsible for military, information and psychological operations, as well as organizing resistance in the occupied territories. This week, Zelensky praised the Ukrainian military for reducing Moscow’s military power in the Black Sea through increased air and naval drone attacks on Russian military targets.
The president rejects Western criticism that Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which began in June, is moving too slowly.At the same time, Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny announced in an essay published in The Economist magazine this week that the war had entered a phase of attrition, favoring Moscow.