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Ukraine: Zelenskyy sacks senior aide, advisors in reshuffle

March 30, 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continued his reshuffle of key political and defense positions as the country faces headwinds. The latest announcement included Zelenskyy's longtime first assistant Serhiy Shefir.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy sitting at a desk
The Ukrainian president has reassigned a number of key roles in recent monthsImage: Ukrainian Presidency/abaca/picture alliance

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed a longtime aide and several advisors on Saturday.

Zelenskyy dismissed Serhiy Shefir, who had served as his first assistant since 2019.

The Ukrainian president also let go of three advisers, and two presidential representatives overseeing volunteer activities and soldiers' rights.

A press spokesperson said the dismissals were part of an "optimization of personnel" in the presidential office, Ukrainian media reported.

The dismissals are the latest in a wide-ranging reshuffle over several weeks.

On Tuesday, Zelenskyy sacked the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksii Danilov, and replaced him with the head of Ukraine's Foreign Intelligence Service, Oleksandr Lytvynenko.

Zelenskyy also caused a stir in February when the armed forces commander-in-chief, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, had to vacate his post and hand it over to Oleksandr Syrskyi

Russian strikes continue

The reshuffle comes as Ukraine finds itself in a difficult situation more than two years after the full-scale Russian invasion began, with little progress on the battlefield and a faltering supply of aid from the West.

Ukraine's air force said on Saturday that Russia launched 12 Iranian-made Shahed drones overnight, nine of which were shot down.

In the space of 24 hours, Russia unleashed a barrage of 38 missiles, 75 airstrikes, and 98 attacks from multiple rocket launchers, the Ukrainian air force added.

Two people were killed and one wounded in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian authorities said on Saturday.

Blackouts remained in place in some regions after Russia ramped up attacks on Ukrainian power plants and other energy infrastructure last week.

zc/rc (AP, dpa)