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Zelenskiy appoints ex-deputy defence minister Pavliuk as new ground forces chief

Commander of the Joint Forces Oleksandr Pavliuk visits combat positions in the Donetsk region

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has appointed Oleksandr Pavliuk, former first deputy defence minister, as the new commander of Ukraine's ground forces, according to a decree published on Sunday.

Pavliuk, a lieutenant-general who served in the ministry role for a year, replaces Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi after he was tapped this week as commander of Ukraine's armed forces.

On Saturday, Zelenskiy announced five other senior military appointments, filling out a rebooted team to bolster Ukraine's defence against Russia's nearly two-year-old invasion.

Ukraine is experiencing a shortage of men and equipment as it heads into 2024 having made few battlefield gains throughout the past year. It also faces a disruption in military aid from the United States, its biggest backer.

(Reporting by Dan Peleschuk;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)