ENDGAME: Ukraine’s Zelensky Reportedly to Fire General Zaluzhny After Months of Infighting

ENDGAME: Ukraine’s Zelensky Reportedly to Fire General Zaluzhny After Months of Infighting

ENDGAME: Ukraine’s Zelensky Reportedly to Fire General Zaluzhny After Months of Infighting

The long-standing feud between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief General Valery Zaluzhny rapidly went from a simmer to a boil in November, showing to the world just how divided were the higher echelons of the country’s defense.

General Zaluzhny authored an article that said that the war ‘was in a stalemate’. He was harshly criticized by the Presidential office, and had a top aide fired seemingly in retaliation.

Read: Tension in Kiev: Zelensky Publicly Criticizes Commander-In-Chief Zaluzhny for Stating That the War Is ‘In a Stalemate’, Fires His Top Deputy

After that, the backers of Kiev watched astonished as Zaluzhny had his office bugged by Zelensky’s people, and the General’s young aide and friend died in a gift-bomb terrorist attack.

Then it surfaced that Zelensky was bypassing the ‘Commander-in-Chief’, and was giving orders directly to the battlefield commanders.

Read: Russian Media: Chastyakov, Assistant and Friend to Kiev’s Military Leader Zaluzhny, Was Killed in a ‘Gift Bomb’ Terrorist Attack by Their Countrymen of the Ukrainian GRU

Meanwhile Zaluzhny criticized Kiev’s firing of conscription heads, and refused to bear the polititcal brunt of conscripting HALF A MILLION new soldiers to rebuild the destroyed Ukrainian forces.

So yesterday (29), after months of speculation about his fate, Zelensky finally ‘offered a new role’ to the general. The four-star career military man dubbed the ‘Iron General’, rejected the ‘offer’, and it’s widely expected to be fired at any moment.

Financial Times reported:

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is preparing to replace his top general in what would be the biggest shake-up of Ukraine’s military command since Russia’s full-scale invasion began two years ago.

Zelensky on Monday offered Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, a new role as a defense adviser but the general refused, according to four people familiar with the discussions.”

Read: MSM Lifts the Veil on the Undeclared Ukrainian Civil War Between President Zelensky and General Zaluzhny

FT’s sources say Zelensky had made clear to Zaluzhny that he would be removed from his current position.

On Monday, Zelensky’s spokesperson, Serhiy Nykyforov, and the defense ministry denied reports about Zaluzhny’s dismissal. ‘Dear journalists, we immediately answer everyone: No, this is not true’, the ministry wrote on its Telegram channel without providing additional context. The president’s office declined to comment further on Tuesday.”

The removal of Zaluzhny could cause an uproar both within Ukraine’s rank-and-file military and also on civil society, among whom he enjoys huge support.

Read: Zelensky Versus Zaluzhny: The Infighting Worsens as the President Gives Orders Directly to Battlefield, Bypassing the General That Is Polling Much Higher Than Him

Ukrainian polls reveal what’s probably the crux of the matter: more people trust Zaluzhny than Zelensky.

“Replacing Zaluzhny could also unnerve Ukraine’s western partners, including military officials who have worked closely with the general over the past two years to devise battlefield strategies.”

Read: Low Morale Grips Ukrainian Forces as Russians Grow Stronger – Beachhead Across the Dnieper ‘A Suicide Mission’ – Army Chief Zaluzhny’s Office Bugged by either Russia or Zelensky

Zaluzhny has not commented on the reports of his dismissal.

“Possible candidates are Oleksandr Syrsky, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, and Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the country’s military intelligence directorate. Both men are close to Zelensky.”

The Economist reported:

“To oust one of the most popular figures in Ukraine would be deeply controversial, and would mark a pivotal moment in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

[…] A dramatic day began with leaks from MPs, who had been informed, possibly strategically, about a ‘set of documents’ sent to a security committee for signing. Later, sources in the general staff and close to General Zaluzhny confirmed that a shake-up was in the works. The Economist has been able to confirm that an early-evening meeting took place at which the president informed his general that he had decided to dismiss him. Mr Zaluzhny was offered another role: secretary of the national security council. He turned it down.”

Ultimately, the row is seen as damaging to both men, and the disputes between Ukraine’s political leadership and military command worry Ukraine’s allies.

“The battle over General Zaluzhny’s future is unlikely to make renewed funding any more likely, as the commander is highly regarded in the West.”

Read: Ukrainian Commander in Chief Criticizes Presidential Firing of Mobilization Heads, as the Zelensky-Zaluzhny Feud Gets Out of Control

Meanwhile, Russian forces retook the initiative, are firing at least five times as many shells as their enemy, and making territorial gains in the east of the country.

“Mr Zelensky is not the only person to have noted his general’s popularity. Prominent opposition figures, hitherto sidelined by the need for national unity, have started to align themselves with General Zaluzhny. That process accelerated in recent weeks as rumors of the general’s coming ouster intensified. The previous president, Petro Poroshenko, who harbours little love for his successor, was quick to take advantage of the disarray. ‘Firing Zaluzhny, if true, would hit at the heart of national unity’, he wrote.”

Removing a man as popular with his soldiers and the public as the general ‘carries political and military risks’.

“It is not clear how this story will end. But if Mr Zelensky keeps his top commander on, he will look weak. If he fires him, the clumsy way it has been handled will only damage confidence in the leadership. As so often in this conflict, there are no easy wins.”

Read more:

Ukraine To Mobilize HALF A MILLION New Citizens for the War in Highly Unpopular Move – President Zelensky and General Zaluzhny Throw the ‘Hot Potato’ Blame to Each Other


The post ENDGAME: Ukraine’s Zelensky Reportedly to Fire General Zaluzhny After Months of Infighting appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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Author: Paul Serran