Ukraine Appoints Former Military Chief as Ambassador to UK

Ukraine | March 8, 2024, Friday // 10:00|  views

Valerii Zaluzhnyi

Amidst the ongoing war, Ukraine has made a bold diplomatic move by appointing its former commander-in-chief, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, as the new ambassador to the United Kingdom. The decision comes a month after Zaluzhnyi was removed from his role as the nation's top military commander, reported Al Jazeera.

According to statements from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the appointment marks a significant shift in diplomatic representation between the two countries. The move follows Ukraine's prolonged absence of an ambassador in the UK since President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed former envoy Vadym Prystaiko in July 2023 after public criticism of the leader.

Zaluzhnyi's tenure as the head of Ukraine's armed forces during the early stages of the conflict with Russia earned him the nickname of the "Iron General" and garnered widespread public support. However, his standing within the administration was tarnished by the collapse of a highly praised counteroffensive and public disagreements with President Zelensky.

Despite his removal from the military leadership, Zaluzhnyi's appointment as ambassador underscores his continued relevance in Ukrainian politics and diplomacy. His selection comes at a critical juncture, coinciding with UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps' visit to Kyiv.

During the meeting, discussions centered on enhancing Ukraine's air defense capabilities and bolstering its military arsenal. In a statement, President Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of strengthening Ukraine's defenses and securing vital military support from international allies.

In a significant development, the UK Ministry of Defense announced plans to supply over 10,000 drones to Ukraine to bolster its counteroffensive efforts against Russian aggression. The move highlights the growing solidarity between Ukraine and its Western allies in the face of escalating tensions in the region.

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Tags: Ukraine, ambassador, UK, Valerii Zaluzhnyi


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