Ukrainian troops dub new C in C as ‘Syrsky the Butcher’
It is reported that Syrsky is unpopular within the military because he led Ukrainian forces in the battle near Artyomovsk, in which many Ukrainian soldiers were killed while ultimately abandoning the city to Russian forces
Newly appointed Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Alexander Syrsky is extremely unpopular among rank-and-file soldiers, who derisively call him “Syrsky the Butcher” and “General200,” the latter epithet inspired by the military code “200” for “killed in action,” authoritative US publication Politico reported, citing sources among serving Ukrainian military personnel.
“A very bad decision,” a Ukrainian serviceman said in a comment to the magazine concerning the appointment of Syrsky to replace sacked General Valery Zaluzhny, who had served as commander-in-chief of Kiev’s forces since the beginning of military operations before falling of out of favor with President Vladimir Zelensky. The serviceman’s point of view was supported by a fellow soldier, who said that the appointment of the new commander-in-chief is unlikely to lead to positive battlefield results for Ukraine.
According to the magazine’s sources, rank-and-file members of the Ukrainian military have derisively dubbed Syrsky as “The Butcher” and “General200,” nicknames reflecting his tendency to callously risk the lives of the soldiers under his command.
Syrsky is unpopular within the military, Politico said, because he led Ukrainian forces in the battle near Artyomovsk (Ukrainian name: Bakhmut), in which many Ukrainian soldiers were killed while ultimately abandoning the city to Russian forces.
On January 29, reports about Zaluzhny’s resignation appeared in Ukrainian legacy and social media, and since then the topic has not subsided in the Ukrainian and Western media spaces. The dismissal of Zaluzhny and the appointment of Syrsky was announced by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on the evening of February 8, but the relevant decrees were not published for a long time. Zelensky thanked Zaluzhny for his work as commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces and offered him the opportunity to remain “on the team.” It has not been reported whether the sacked general accepted Zelensky’s offer. At the same time, the Ukrainian leader pointed to the lack of progress of the Ukrainian military at the front. Syrsky is expected in the coming days to put forward an action plan for the armed forces for 2024 and to present a “reset team” of commanders that will be tasked with carrying it out. Syrsky was born in 1965 in Russia’s Vladimir Region and graduated from the Moscow Higher Combined Arms Command School. Zelensky described him as “the most experienced Ukrainian commander.”