Volodymyr Zelensky sacked one of Ukraine’s top generals amid an increasingly dire situation on the frontlines.
While Kyiv has effectively stopped Russia’s invasion force from advancing in the country, it has largely failed to recapture significant territory from Russia risking a stalemate in the conflict.
Zelensky sacked Major General Tetiana Ostashchenko – commander of Ukraine’s medical forces – while demanding a revamp of the military’s medical system.
The move comes amid heavy casualties on both sides in what appears to be quickly becoming a war of attrition. The outbreak of war in Israel has taken international eyes off Ukraine while the US passed a temporary budget without money for Kyiv sparking fears of reduced Western aid.
Against the backdrop of international attention moving away from Ukraine, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin made a surprise visit to Ukraine to shore up support.
Austin said of the visit: “I was honoured to meet with President Zelensky in Kyiv today to reaffirm the United States’ steadfast support for Ukraine.
“We, along with our allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s urgent battlefield needs and long-term defence requirements.”
Meanwhile, Zelensky hailed the meeting as a “very important signal” for Ukraine while the pair met.
He thanked the US Congress and the American people for their backing and said: “We count on your support.”
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The signal comes as US President Joe Biden signed a short-term budget to fund the government that did not include additional spending for Israel or Ukraine.
The spending bill does not include the White House’s nearly $106 billion (£85 billion) request for wartime aid for Israel and Ukraine.
Lawmakers are likely to turn their attention more fully to that request after the American holiday of Thanksgiving in hopes of negotiating a deal.
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