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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has appointed former army chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi as Kyiv’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. 

The announcement was made public through a decree on the presidential website. Zaluzhnyi is renowned for his role in leading Ukraine’s defense during the initial two years of Russia’s full-scale invasion and was recently honored as a “Hero of Ukraine.”

Ukraine's President Zelenskiy And Uaf Commander In Chief Zaluzhnyi Pose For A Picture During A Meeting In Kyiv

This diplomatic assignment fills the vacancy left since July 2023, when Zelensky dismissed the former ambassador, Vadym Prystaiko. Prystaiko’s removal followed his public criticism of the president, leaving the position unoccupied until now. 

Zaluzhnyi, a key figure in Ukraine’s military leadership, gained considerable popularity for his leadership during the crucial initial hours of Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022, and for orchestrating a counteroffensive that reclaimed significant territories previously captured by Moscow. In February, amid some battlefield setbacks and a failed counteroffensive to penetrate Russian defenses, Zaluzhnyi was replaced by ground forces commander Oleksandr Syrskyi. 


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