The headquarters of the Joint Forces with the participation of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has had an important appointment –General Oleksandr Syrsky became the new commander of the Joint Forces Operation. He took the position instead of Lieutenant-General Serhiy Nayev, who was appointed to the post a little over a year ago - on March 17, 2018. The replacement of the commanders was a planned one.
Serhiy Nayev was the first commander after the change from the Anti-Terrorist Operation to the Joint Forces Operation, which took place on April 30, 2018.
The Joint Nations was tasked with strengthening the Armed Forces of Ukraine: they were to be defensive, but also able to liberate the occupied territories. According to the law on the de-occupation of Donbas, the JFO headquarters is the only independent governing body over all power structures on the territory of Donbas.
The JFO commander is subordinated to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces.
Oleksandr Syrsky was the head of ATO's headquarters in the rank of Major-General. He was the one who received the order on the night of February 16, 2015, “to ensure the exit of the formation from Debaltseve.”
By that time, Syrsky sector had about 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers who were facing 19,000 Russian-terrorist troops.
“It was immediately found out that the headquarters of the sector had no analysis and prediction of the likely actions of the enemy, so the work of the leaders of the sector on planning of further actions was situational. On the first day in Debaltseve we conducted such an assessment. It turned out that the offensive threat from Horlivka was not even evaluated,” Syrsky told about the events of February 2015 and arrival in Vuhlehirsk.
Under the control of Syrsky, the possible ways of crossing the river Karapulka were mined. However, the head of the sector, according to the general, did not allow to blow up all the mines, and because of that the enemy captured the passages. It was the group of Syrsky ‘Bars’ formed by him, which covered the withdrawal of the Armed Forces from Debaltseve.