Media reports Kiev switching commander amid Russian advance


(MENAFN) Amidst the ongoing advance of Russian forces towards the strategic city of Kharkov, Ukraine's armed forces
have reportedly made a significant change in leadership, replacing a key commander tasked with defending the region. According to reports from local media
on Monday, the decision to replace Yury Galushkin, the commander of the Kharkov operative tactical group, was made over the weekend by military leadership, signaling a response to the escalating threat posed by the advancing Russian troops.

Galushkin, who assumed command of the group in early April, has been succeeded by Brigade General Mikhail Drapaty, as reported by RBK-Ukraine. Notably, Drapaty will also retain his position as deputy chair of the Ukrainian general staff, a role he assumed in February during a broader military reshuffle.

The change in leadership comes against the backdrop of Russian forces securing control over several villages in the Kharkov Region, as confirmed by statements from the Russian Defense Ministry and reports from the ground. President Vladimir Zelensky described the shifting battlefield dynamics as areas transitioning from "the gray zone" to active combat zones.

The latest advancements reported on Monday occurred near settlements including Volchansk, Neskuchnoye, Liptsi, and Vesyoloe in Kharkov Region. The Russian Defense Ministry reported significant casualties and losses suffered by Ukrainian forces in the past 24 hours, underscoring the intensity of the conflict in the region.

The strategic significance of Kharkov cannot be understated, with Ukrainian forces having utilized the city and its surrounding territory as a staging ground for cross-border attacks on Belgorod, a Russian city with a substantial population. This proximity has enabled Ukrainian troops to regularly target Belgorod with artillery strikes, adding to the complexity of the ongoing conflict.

As military operations continue to unfold in the Kharkov Region, the appointment of Brigadier General Drapaty reflects Kiev's efforts to bolster its defense strategy and respond effectively to the advancing Russian threat, underscoring the high stakes and evolving dynamics of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

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