That was how Volodymyr Zelenskyy commented on the Law “On the Basics of National Resistance”. The President signed the law on July 29.
The law provides for the creation of a complex of measures designed to develop an effective system of territorial defense, build a resistance movement and to launch training courses with the aimed of teaching Ukrainians how to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country which is the business of the entire people.
“The law allows, if necessary, to draw the entire population to participating in actions to protect their native land, their homes, their families, to rally all Ukrainians around important, first-priority tasks,” said the President.
He clarified some points of the law saying that national resistance implies actions that are going to be held in the government-controlled areas as well as in the non-controlled territories of Ukraine.
That same day, Zelenskyy signed one more law that increases the number of the armed forces by 11 thousand men, including 10 thousand who will form the territorial defense detachments and one thousand will make up special task units. All this is done to facilitate the fulfilment of tasks defined by the law on national resistance. When all these measures have been implemented, the total number of the armed forces will comprise 261 thousand servicemen.
The recent personnel changes in the leadership of the armed forces and the Defense Ministry are widely discussed. Thus, Ruslan Khomchak resigned his post of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. From now on, this position will be filled by Valeriy Zaluzhny, the Commander of the Operational Command “North.” As for Khomchak, he was appointed the First Deputy Secretary of the Council for National Security and Defense.
In referring to the latest reshuffle in the army’s leadership and the government, Serhiy Nykyforov, the new press secretary of the President, said the following, “It was the decision of Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He does not question Khomchak’s patriotism, loyalty to the oath and professionalism but the President wants to see synergy between the Defense Ministry and the armed forces. Regrettably, instead of such synergy we witness only conflicts between these two departments.” Experts point to endless conflicts, professional disagreements and personal animosity between the former commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the acting Defense Minister Andriy Taran. There are prognoses that the latter will resign in September.
The President also dismissed a string of leaders of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and the Security Service of Ukraine.
According to the Office of the President, Zelenskyy called military commanders of all ranks, leading officials in the spheres of defense and national security to be more efficient in carrying out tasks involving the modernization of the army and the best possible training of servicemen so that they will be capable of defending Ukraine in a modern warfare.
Zelenskyy was quoted as saying, “Today, the world witnesses the rapid transformation of forces and means of waging a war. And our military must be ready to fulfil tasks to the utmost and under any conditions.”
In his strong opinion, the ability of commanders and leaders of all levels to interact efficiently is the basis of the successful functioning of the defense sphere and the security sector.
The President summed up, “I expect that the personnel reshuffle and changes in the commanding staff in the army and the Defense Ministry will result in a more efficient work and the better understanding by every soldier of perspectives of the development of the armed forces as a whole.”
Volodymyr Fesenko, an authority on political science, has a different opinion from that of a number of opposition politicians and analysts who claim that the recent personnel reshuffle is nothing else but “an attempt of the President to put under his control the military and policing branches with the aim of strengthening his own power.” Thus, Fesenko argues, “The leadership of the defense and security branches has undergone an important renewal in recent days. President Zelenskyy wants to put things in order there and enhance the personal responsibility of the leaders of these branches when performing the set tasks. This applies in particular the reform of the defense department and special service in order to increase their efficiency.”
The newspaper Voice of Ukraine