Ukraine's president replaces head of Territorial Defence Forces

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KYIV, May 16 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has replaced the head of its Territorial Defence Forces nearly three months into the war with Russia without giving a reason.

The Defence Ministry said on Monday Zelenskiy had appointed Major General Ihor Tantsyura to take over from Yuriy Halushkin as commander of the forces that are helping the Ukrainian army defend the country following Russia's invasion on Feb. 24.

The ministry described Tantsyura as an experienced officer who was previously chief of staff of Ukraine's ground forces.

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It said the Territorial Defence Forces had grown rapidly since being established shortly before the invasion and were playing an important role in the conflict with Russia.

"The explosive growth of the structure, especially in conditions of intense combat, is a huge experience, (with)mistakes and achievements. There are successes and, unfortunately, losses," the ministry said in a statement.

The Defence Ministry said separately on Monday that a Territorial Defence Forces battalion had advanced as far as the border with Russia after repelling Russian forces attacking the northeastern city of Kharkiv. read more

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Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Editing by Timothy Heritage

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