General Staff sacks Defense Forces South comms chief

General Staff sacks Defense Forces South comms chief

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces decided to remove Natalia Humeniuk, chief of the Strategic Communications Center of Defense Forces South.

That’s according to a statement posted on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.

Humeniuk is no longer part of Defense Forces South from April 19, the brief statement notes, adding that the officer has been rotated to another direction.

“The Center for Strategic Communications of Defense Forces South will work as usual in organizing cooperation with the duly accredited media,” the statement concludes.

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The report comes after a number of Ukrainian and foreign journalists issued a joint appeal addressing Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi and Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, calling for the top defense officials to consider removing Natalia Humeniuk from her current position and replacing her with a “competent person”. Among complaints put forward to the stratcom chief was the failure to ensure proper coverage of the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP dam by the Russian invasion forces, which forced journalists to seek information on the incident from Russian propaganda sources.

According to the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on the Freedom of Speech, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, over 150 journalists and media outlets signed off the appeal that was set to be heard at the Committee.

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Humeniuk rebuffed accusations, stating that no evidence was provided to back journalists’ claims and that no provision of the relevant order regulating relations with the media was violated. She stressed operational security considerations were prioritized.

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