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Amid Russian invasion 'Iron general' Valeriy Zaluzhny emerges as Ukrainian icon

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy with Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyi during a parliament session, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 28, 2022. (PC-AFP) (via REUTERS)Premium
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy with Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyi during a parliament session, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 28, 2022. (PC-AFP) (via REUTERS)

General Zaluzhny was promoted to commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces in July 2021 by President Volodymyr Zelensky, after being named head of the military's northern command in 2019.

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Amid the Russian invasion on Ukraine, 49-year-old General Valeriy Zaluzhny has emerged as an icon of resistance. He was named commander-in-chief in 2021, but prior to that was unknown to fellow Ukrainians.

Zaluzhny was promoted to commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces in July 2021 by President Volodymyr Zelensky, after being named head of the military's northern command in 2019.

On his latest birthday last month, Ukrainians took to social media to congratulate their military leader. Apart from this, children are using his name in their games and the Ukrainian edition of Vogue magazine carried an article about him, calling him "a legendary figure".

ALSO READ: Ukraine under pressure in east as NATO chief says Russia must not win

"Thanks to commander in chief Zaluzhny, our confidence in ourselves and in our victory has returned," Volodymyr Omelian, a former transport minister, wrote on Facebook.

The Ukrainians have given credit to Zaluzhny with disrupting Russia's initial plan to capture Kyiv quickly after launching its offensive on 24 February, reported AFP.

Even Zaluzhny was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in TIME magazine this year.

Despite Zaluzhny has given no media interviews since the start of the war, local media have dubbed him Ukraine's 'iron general'.

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley was quoted as saying in the profile, which said the general's actions 'will be remembered by history'.

With AFP inputs.

 

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