Zelensky Removes Gen. Yurii Sodol Amid Criticism of Excessive Casualties

Zelensky Removes Gen. Yurii Sodol Amid Criticism of Excessive Casualties

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine removed one of his top generals from his post on Monday amid public criticism that the commander’s decisions had led to excessive casualties.

The dismissal of the general, Yurii Sodol, as commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces, was a clear indication that the discord that had rankled the army since Mr. Zelensky replaced his commanding general, Valery Zaluzhny, with Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky in February, continued to threaten military cohesion.

Mr. Zelensky announced that he was replacing General Sodol with Brig. Gen. Andrii Hnatov.

General Sodol was appointed by General Syrsky as part of a broader shake-up in February, and Mr. Zelensky did not say why he had dismissed the commander or what position he would now hold.

But the president’s announcement came after Bohdan Krotevych, chief of staff of the Azov brigade — a regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard — wrote a letter to the State Bureau of Investigation calling for an investigation into the general’s conduct.

Then, just hours before the general’s dismissal. Mr. Krotevych posted an unusually blunt and scathing open letter on social media, implicitly accusing the general of, through his poor leadership, “killing more Ukrainian soldiers than any Russian general.”

While Mr. Krotevych did not name General Sodol directly in the public letter, he suggested that all of Ukraine’s forces knew to whom he was referring. “Everyone in the military understands because 99 percent of the military hate him for what he does,” he wrote.

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