Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday fired a senior military commander who helped lead the fight against Russian troops in the country’s belligerent east but gave no reason for the move.

In a one-line decree, Zelenskyy announced the dismissal of Eduard Moskalyov as commander of the joint forces of Ukraine, which are engaged in fighting in the Donbas region.

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Zelenskyy mentioned Moskalyov in a daily speech on Friday when he listed the military commanders he had spoken with. Moskalyov had been in the post since March 2022, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Neither the joint forces’ Facebook nor Twitter accounts mentioned the termination.

Russian forces are making concerted efforts to capture the two eastern regions that make up Donbas, and Zelenskyy has in recent weeks variously described the military situation in the east as difficult and painful.

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Pro-Moscow units are focusing their efforts on the town of Bakhmut, carrying out repeated assaults despite suffering what Ukrainian and Western officials say are heavy casualties.

In a Facebook post, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that Russian troops had carried out several unsuccessful attacks in the Bakhmut area on Sunday.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)