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Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy replaces head of Territorial Defense Forces

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has replaced the head of its Territorial Defense Forces nearly three months into the war with Russia without giving a reason.

The Defense Ministry said on Monday Zelenskyy had appointed Major General Ihor Tantsyura to take over from Yuriy Halushkin as commander of the forces that are helping the Ukrainian army defend the country following Russia’s invasion on February 24.

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The ministry described Tantsyura as an experienced officer who was previously chief of staff of Ukraine’s ground forces.

It said the Territorial Defense Forces had grown rapidly since being established shortly before the invasion and were playing an important role in the conflict with Russia.

“The explosive growth of the structure, especially in conditions of intense combat, is a huge experience, [with] mistakes and achievements. There are successes and, unfortunately, losses,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Defense Ministry said separately on Monday that a Territorial Defense Forces battalion had advanced as far as the border with Russia after repelling Russian forces attacking the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

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