Zelensky Replaces Top Security Official

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press, in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KYIV (AP) — Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has replaced one of the country’s top security officials in a reshuffle that comes as the war has dragged into a third year.

Zelensky dismissed Oleksiy Danilov, who served as secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, thanking him for his service in a video address late Tuesday. He said without providing details that Danilov will be “reassigned to another area.”

Zelensky replaced Danilov with Oleksandr Lytvynenko, the former head of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence Service. Zelensky didn’t announce the reasons behind the reshuffle.

The National Security Council is a policy coordination body that includes top officials and is chaired by Zelensky.

Danilov’s dismissal comes as exhausted Ukrainian troops struggling with a shortage of personnel and ammunition are facing growing Russian pressure along the front line that stretches over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).

The reshuffle follows February’s decision by Zelensky to fire the country’s chief military officer, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, replacing him Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi. Tensions between Zaluzhnyi and the President grew after Ukraine’s much-touted 2023 counteroffensive failed to reach its goals.

Earlier this month, Zaluzhnyi was named Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Kingdom.

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