Zelensky demands ‘rapid changes’

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has insisted on “fundamental” changes to the way the Ukrainian military manages battlefield casualties, after sacking Medical Forces commander Major-General Tatyana Ostashchenko on Sunday evening.

The move came after Zelensky’s meeting with Rustem Umerov, the recently-appointed defense minister, amid recriminations in Kiev about the failure of its summer counteroffensive against Russia.

“There is little time left to wait for results. Quick action is needed for upcoming changes,” Zelensky said, adding that the Ukrainian military needs “a fundamentally new level of medical support.”

Umerov, who replaced Aleksey Reznikov in September, has been discussed in social media posts that tactical medicine needs to be “digitized” and that there was “Simply no place for such problems as subpar tourniquets.”

Anonymous Ukrainian sources who spoke with the British outlet Daily Telegraph have complained about “substandard” equipment such as field kits Kiev had bought from China. They also claimed that poor training caused combat medics to use tourniquets when there was no need, thereby increasing the number of amputations.

According to Russian estimates, at least 90,000 Ukrainian troops became casualties during the four months of heavy fighting in the south, with little to nothing to show for it. The latest narrative coming out of Kiev was that the “summer counteroffensive” was really just a psychological operation and that the real attack is still to take place.

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