Ukraine defence minister, new armed forces chief inform Western generals of Kyiv’s plans

By Thomson Reuters Feb 13, 2024 | 2:12 PM

(Reuters) – Ukraine Defence Minister Rustem Umerov and newly appointed armed forces commander Oleksandr Syrskyi discussed Kyiv’s military plans for 2024 with the supreme commander of the NATO Armed Forces in Europe and the commander of the Security Assistance Group Ukraine, Umerov said on Facebook on Tuesday.

Colonel-General Syrskyi, who has led Ukraine’s ground forces since 2019, was promoted to commander of the armed forces last week as the war with Russia nears its third year. He replaced Valeriy Zaluzhnyi.

Umerov in his Facebook posting said he and Syrskyi had “a clear and substantive conversation” with General Christopher Cavoli and Lieutenant General Antonio Aguto.

“We discussed our military plans for 2024,” Umerov said. “The Commander-in-Chief announced the priorities. Among them are the optimization of the structure of the Armed Forces, improvement of the quality of training of our military, additional staffing of existing brigades and creation of new ones, supplying of regular needs in weapons and equipment.”

The parties also discussed Ukraine’s need for more electronic warfare equipment to combat Russian drones and the importance of rotating the fighters on the front lines, Umerov said without providing any details.

(Reporting by Oleksandr Kozhukhar; Writing by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Bill Berkrot)