Oleksandr Syrskyi. Facts About the New Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Who is Oleksandr Syrskyi: What is Known About the New Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Oleksandr Syrskyi Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General. Hero of Ukraine (2022).
Born on July 26, 1965, in the village of Novinky, Kirzhach District, Vladimir Region of Russia, in a military family. Spent his childhood in Kharkiv, where he also finished school. In 1986, he graduated from the Moscow Higher General Command School named after the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and was assigned to serve in Ukraine. Syrskyi's service began as the commander of a motorized rifle platoon of the 426th Regiment of the 25th Motorized Rifle Division named after V. Chapayev (stationed in Lubny, Poltava Region).
From the National Guard to the Armed Forces of Ukraine
After the dissolution of the USSR, Oleksandr Syrskyi's life and career have been tied to independent Ukraine. Between 1993 and 1995, he commanded a motorized rifle battalion of the 17th Regiment, then the 19th Regiment of the 6th Division of the National Guard of Ukraine (Chuhuiv, Kharkiv Region).
Following the disbandment of the National Guard of Ukraine, Syrskyi transferred to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. From 2000 to 2002, he held the position of chief of staff - first deputy commander of the 72nd Mechanized Division (Bila Tserkva, Kyiv Region). For the next three years, he commanded the 72nd separate mechanized brigade, created as a result of the division's reformation.
Service in the General Staff
Oleksandr Syrskyi continued his military education at the Academy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, obtaining a qualification as an operational-tactical level specialist in 1996. He became an operational-strategic level officer in 2005 after studying at the same institution, now named the National Defense Academy of Ukraine. Both of Syrskyi’s diplomas were with honors. Moreover, Syrskyi is a candidate of military sciences.
Syrskyi's further service was linked to the highest command positions in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine:
2007–2011 – Chief of Staff - First Deputy Commander of the Joint Operational Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 2011–2012 – First Deputy Chief of the Main Directorate of Military Cooperation and Peacekeeping Operations of the General Staff. 2013–2014 – First Deputy Chief of the Main Command Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In this position, Major General Oleksandr Syrskyi oversaw cooperation with NATO, including representing the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in negotiations at the alliance's headquarters regarding the introduction of NATO standards in the Armed Forces of Ukraine in November 2013.
Leading the ATO/JFO and the Ground Forces
With the start of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in Donbas against Russia's hybrid aggression, Oleksandr Syrskyi was appointed Chief of Staff - First Deputy Commander of the ATO.
During the battles in the Debaltseve bulge in winter 2015, Syrskyi personally managed the defense of Ukrainian troops. He was in charge of the formed tactical group "Bars," from which his current call sign derives. Major General Syrskyi participated in directing battles in Vuhlehirsk, the village of Ridkodub, and the unsuccessful attempt to retake Logvinove. In February, the "Bars" group facilitated the withdrawal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from nearly encircled Debaltseve, preventing the defeat of our units by Russian forces. Forces of sector S managed to hold the line along the Luhanka river and secure a bridgehead in Luhanske - Troitske - Popasna, preventing the enemy from capturing new territories.
For this operation, Syrskyi was awarded the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky III degree. In 2016, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general.
From 2016 to 2019, General Syrskyi headed the Joint Operational Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which was directly responsible for the combat use of troops. For a while in 2017, Syrskyi led the ATO in Donbas. From April 2018, the functions of commanding the military operation in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions shifted from the ATO headquarters to the Joint Operational Headquarters (now – Command of the Joint Forces). From May to August 2019, Syrskyi was the commander of the Joint Forces in eastern Ukraine, and on August 5, he took charge of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In 2020, he received the rank of lieutenant general.
The Great War
After the full-scale invasion by Russia, Lieutenant General Syrskyi was entrusted with the defense of Kyiv (February 24 – April 2, 2022). Under his leadership, two rings of defense were created: on the outskirts and within the city limits. The blowing up of bridges on the approaches to Kyiv and the dam on the Irpin River in Kozarovychi, ordered by Syrskyi, hindered the Russian advance on the capital. For skillful leadership in defending Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded Syrskyi the title of Hero of Ukraine.
General Syrskyi also distinguished himself during the counteroffensive in Kharkiv region (September 6–12, 2022). The operational-strategic grouping "Khortytsia," led by him, liberated the cities of Balakliya, Kupiansk, Izium, and almost all the areas occupied by the enemy within a week. In 2023, the zone of responsibility of Syrskyi's grouping faced the toughest front sections on the eastern direction, including the fierce defense of Bakhmut. The commander regularly visited the front lines of his troops.
On February 8, 2024, by decree of the President of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Syrskyi was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Married to Tamara Kharchenko, who works as a chief inspector at the State Customs Service. The couple has two sons – Oleksandr and Anton.
His parents, Lyudmila and Stanislav Syrskyi, and his brother Oleg, according to Russian media, live in Vladimir. 84-year-old Stanislav Syrskyi is a retired colonel.
Ranks and Awards
- Major General (August 20, 2009);
- Lieutenant General (December 5, 2016);
- Lieutenant General (August 23, 2020);
- Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky (III degree – March 14, 2015, II and I degrees – March 18 and December 11, 2022);
- Hero of Ukraine (April 5, 2022);
- Honorary Citizen of Kyiv (May 14, 2022);
- Cross of Combat Merit (July 27, 2022).