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Zelensky signs decrees on discharging National Guard commander, appointing new one

KYIV. Jan 28 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed decrees on accepting resignation by National Guard Commander Mykola Balan after a deadly shooting incident in Dnipro and appointed an acting commander, the presidential website said.

“Mykola Ivanovych Balan shall be discharged from his position as commander of the National Guard of Ukraine,” a decree posted on the presidential website says.

Zelensky also appointed Lieut. Gen. Yuriy Lebid acting National Guard commander.

“Yuriy Anatoliyovych Lebid shall be appointed acting commander of the National Guard of Ukraine,” another decree says.

As reported earlier, Balan tendered his resignation as National Guard commander after a deadly shooting incident at the Pivdenny Machine-Building Plant (Yuzhmash), a major space industry enterprise in the southern Ukrainian city of Dnipro.

Artem Riabchuk, a Ukrainian National Guard drafted serviceman born in 2001, shot a guard detail of National Guard service members with an assault rifle at Yuzhmash at 03.40 on January 27, killing four fellow service members and one female civilian on the spot and wounding five other people. Ryabchuk fled the scene with the firearm but was detained in the community of Pidhorodne outside of Dnipro at 09.30 the same day.