The Washington PostThe Washington Post

To defeat Russia, Ukraine's top commander pushes to fight on his terms

By Isabelle Khurshudyan

14 Jul 2023 · 8 min read

informed Summary

  1. Ukraine's top commander, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, says he is focused on reducing the loss of life in the ongoing war with Russia. He is critical of the constraints placed on Ukraine's military by Western allies, who have provided longer-range missiles and other materiel but stipulated they cannot be used to strike Russian soil.

KYIV, Ukraine - A career military man, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny long ago confronted three questions: Am I ready to die? Am I ready to kill? Am I willing to send people to die and kill?

Now, Ukraine's top commander in a war with a Russian force larger and better-equipped than his own is asking himself a new question: How can I reduce the loss of life? He starts each morning by learning how many soldiers were killed or wounded following his orders the day before. Sometimes he stumbles across a contact in his cellphone who is dead. He refuses to delete them.

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