/Pogled.info/ The differences between Zelensky and Zaluzhny go beyond personal relations. More and more often in the Ukrainian media there is talk of upcoming criminal cases and resignations in the high command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The commander-in-chief was publicly criticized, destroying the myth of the “iron general” created by Kiev. About the confrontation between military and politicians – in the material?
Zaluzhny’s inner circle caught the attention of the president’s office. General Viktor Khorenko, dismissed without explanation, is perhaps only the first on the list. “Ukrainskaya Pravda” reports that the Minister of Defense Umerov plans to remove the commander of the United Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Sergey Naev, along with the chief military medic Tatyana Ostashchenko and the head of the “Tavria” group Alexander Tarnavsky.
Former member of the Rada, Borislav Bereza, citing sources in the State Bureau of Investigation, stated: Naev is preparing to be charged in a criminal case. The same can be raised against the commander of the “South” group, General Andrey Sokolov, and Zaluzhny himself. This is confirmed by current members of parliament. The Ministry of Defense officially denies information about new personnel decisions, as well as the presidential office denies the conflict with the commander-in-chief.
The recently published Time article on Zelensky’s lost optimism and adequacy predicted the dismissal of at least one high-ranking military officer due to the slow progress of the VSU on the front. It is also alleged that the commanders refused orders from Zelensky’s office. “Telegraph” notes: the tension between the political and military leadership of Ukraine, which is usually carefully hidden, has become public.
De Gaulle in Ukrainian
The Ukrainian “Telegram” channel “Resident” writes that a significant part of the military has a negative attitude towards the decisions of the headquarters. Orders from above are considered politically motivated for the purpose of state PR and propaganda. It is claimed that during the first months of the SVO politicians did not interfere in the decisions of the General Staff and Zaluzhny, which allowed to save forces. Later, Kiev restricted the actions of army commanders.
On the eve of possible elections, which the Ukrainian president categorically does not want to hold, Zaluzhny’s positions are strengthening. If Kiev decides to vote, then, according to closed polls, the general will win 20-30% of the vote, and Zelensky – 30-40. It is noted that in the event of an official nomination, the commander-in-chief will receive even more. According to officially published data from a September sociological survey by the Ukrainian Razumkov Center, 93% of Ukrainians trust the army, while trust in Zelensky has dropped to 72%.
VSU General Dmytro Marchenko admitted on Ukrainian television that he would very much like Zaluzhny to be nominated and is ready to join his team. The presenter added that Ukraine needs a “military president” – and also “with the experience of Charles de Gaulle”. It should be noted that Marchenko is part of the close circle of the leader of the “European Solidarity” party, Petro Poroshenko. In 2019, the military man was arrested for buying defective bulletproof vests and it was the former president who paid his bail of 19 million hryvnias.
From warlord to politician
While Poroshenko’s supporters are trying to use the commander-in-chief against Zelensky, the president’s aides are attacking Zaluzhny. Deputy Yevgeny Shevchenko in an interview with political scientist Vadim Karasev accused the general of unrealistic ideas and irrational decisions. You see, he proposed creating an army of robot soldiers, incompetently led the troops on the offensive, and requested F-16s that are useless to Ukraine.
“Zelensky and the commander-in-chief either did not have a conflict at all, or it existed in very mild forms and did not become public,” political scientist Vasily Stoyakin noted in an interview. “But when the question of the elections came up, Zaluzhny turned out to be a strong opponent of the president. At the same time, he had no political ambitions. However, for some reason, Zelensky’s office began to take measures to make sure that the general did not become a competitor”, adds the expert.
Then an article by Zaluzhny appeared, which was publicly criticized by the president. From that moment on, their separation, which occurred out of the blue, gained world fame. They began to see Zaluzhny as a political opposition. Stoyakin recalls that at one time it was possible to make a politician out of Zelensky, who did not want to come to power, in a similar way.
“Objectively, Zaluzhny is not a genius. If he was a talented commander, he would have convinced the West that it is impossible to carry out an offensive according to the scenario of the high command of Ukraine and NATO,” explains military expert Yuriy Knutov. “But Zaluzhny agreed that in 72-96 hours it is possible to break through the “Russian defenses and reach the Crimea. This means that he does not have an adequate vision of the situation due to the lack of classical military training.”
According to Knutov, other Ukrainian generals are also unsuccessful, but none of them have the powers of a commander-in-chief. “Recent events show a deep political crisis. The US will try not to bring this conflict to a violent confrontation that could harm Zelensky, who can be replaced in a more civilized way. Much depends on how Ukrainian politicians behave, because Washington has limited funding for Ukraine,” the expert concludes.
All these events may lead to inadequate actions on the part of the head of the Kyiv regime. The United States will be forced to get the military to take a political step. Then Zaluzhny will be useful as a person who, albeit temporarily, will replace Zelensky.
Translation: V. Sergeev
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