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Head of Ukraine’s general staff to be sacked together with army chief — media

According to the sources, other staff changes are also under consideration and more dismissals may take place later in the week

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Ukrainian General Staff Chief Sergey Shaptala is slated to be dismissed together with Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny, the Ukrainskaya Pravda media outlet reported, citing sources inside government circles in Kiev.

According to the news outlet, the decision to dismiss both Zaluzhny and Shaptala at once has already been made but other staff changes are also under consideration and more dismissals may take place later in the week.

On Monday morning, Zaluzhny posted a photo of himself with Shaptala on Facebook (prohibited in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, which has been designated as extremist) and wrote: "We will face more hard times in the future but we will never feel shame again." This is the second time Zaluzhny shared a photo of himself with the General Staff chief over the past week. The previous time he did so was on January 30, the morning immediately after media reports had surfaced of his future dismissal.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged in an interview with Italy’s RAI television that he was considering a possible reshuffle of the country’s top brass. Reports of Zaluzhny’s looming dismissal appeared in Ukrainian legacy media and social media on January 29, when Zelensky allegedly suggested that the army chief should resign but Zaluzhny refused. Now, Zelensky can dismiss him through a presidential decree. A number of Western media outlets have confirmed these reports, citing sources. The Ukrainian media are linking Zaluzhny’s future dismissal to the failure of Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive and the commander’s purported political ambitions, which Zelensky is reputedly attempting to sabotage by dismissing his putative rival for power.