New Ukrainian Armed Forces commander dubbed “THE BUTCHER” due to his penchant for putting troops in harm’s way
03/18/2024 // Ramon Tomey // Views

Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, the new commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU), is known by the notorious nickname "The Butcher" – and troops fear that his tendency to put soldiers through the "meat grinder" will lead to massive losses for Kyiv.

Syrsky took over the position of Gen. Valery Zaluzhny after the latter was dismissed from the AFU. Zaluzhny was later appointed as the Ukrainian ambassador to the United Kingdom. But even after his dismissal from the AFU at the behest of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Zaluzhny remained popular among soldiers because he prioritizes their safety.

Meanwhile, AFU troops consider the new commander as someone willing to put soldiers in harm's way to achieve his goals. The 58-year-old Syrsky, who was born in central Russia, is known for his "hard-driving Soviet-style tactics."

The new AFU commander reportedly earned his nickname over his willingness to hold the city of Bakhmut against Russian forces at nearly any cost. Syrsky paid for this in blood, in the form of high Ukrainian casualty numbers. While U.S. intelligence had along advised Ukrainian forces to abandon Bakhmut, Syrsky did the opposite and kept sending more men.

"Ukraine reportedly lost a large number of well-trained troops in Bakhmut, while Russia lost large numbers of former convicts who conducted 'human wave' assaults on the city," Remix News remarked.

One anonymous AFU officer took to X to decry Syrsky's appointment. The Butcher's leadership style "is bankrupt, his presence or orders coming from his name are demoralizing, and he undermines trust in the command in general," they said.

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"His relentless pursuit of tactical gains constantly depletes our valuable human resources, resulting in tactical advances such as capturing tree lines or small villages, with no operational goals in mind."

Meanwhile, one anonymous AFU solder issued a short warning about Syrsky: "He will kill us all."

Syrsky's appointment a result of Zelensky-Zaluzhny feud

The appointment of Syrsky – formerly the commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces under the bigger AFU aegis – purportedly came as a result of the feud between the now-ambassador to the U.K. and the comedian-turned-president.

During the battle of Bakhmut, Zelensky said the city must be held at all costs. This contrasted with Zaluzhny's position at the time, which called for troops to retreat and abandon Bakhmut.

Aside from this, Zaluzhny also came under criticism for his public statement. He expressed belief that the Russia-Ukraine war had reached a stalemate, which some analysts interpreted as a call for a ceasefire and a winding down of hostilities. This explicitly contrasted with Zelensky's declared goals in the war of reclaiming lost territories and restoring Ukraine's 1991 borders following the fall of the Soviet Union.

Zaluzhny's popularity isn't limited to the military, as he scores high against Zelensky in various polls. In fact, surveys have shown that the incumbent president would outright lose to the ambassador if Ukraine's presidential elections were held at the moment. But Zelensky has canceled the national elections originally scheduled in March, arguing that elections cannot be held while the war is still ongoing. (Related: Permanent dictator: Zelensky declares NO MORE ELECTIONS in Ukraine until war ends.)

"Syrsky's appointment also comes at a time when there is a sharp debate in Ukrainian society about large-scale mobilization efforts," Remix News stated. "Ukraine has already lost a significant amount of its population, both due to the war and the emigration of the female population. Many of the men most willing to go to the front have long since enlisted or perished in battle, leaving a population of Ukrainians increasingly unwilling to take up arms."

Watch former Lt. Col. Vasily Prozorov of the Security Service of Ukraine explain why Oleksandr Syrsky is a danger to the AFU below.

This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on

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