Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is said to have decided to dismiss the commander-in-chief of the army, Valery Zaluzhny. According to The Washington Post Zelensky has already informed the United States of the decision.
Zaluzhny’s departure has not yet been officially confirmed. The Washington Post is based on two anonymous sources who are said to be “close to the fire”. The American newspaper is generally well informed when it comes to military affairs that go on behind the scenes.
Zelensky reportedly informed Zaluzhny last Monday that he was being removed from office. This was initially denied by a spokesperson for the president. There has been no response since.
The dismissal of the top general would be one of Zelensky’s most drastic decisions since Russia invaded Ukraine two years ago. Zaluzhny is the leader of the Ukrainian forces fighting the Russians.
There have been rumblings between Zelensky and Zaluzhny for some time now. They would disagree on how the war should be waged. Their disagreement had already been openly visible several times.
Zelensky and Zaluzhny have been at loggerheads before
Last November, Zaluzhny wrote in an article The Economist that the war had reached a stalemate. These statements would make it more difficult for Zelensky to successfully ask the West for weapons.
Zaluzhny also recently called on the Ukrainian government to call up 500,000 new soldiers. Zelensky didn’t think that was realistic. Behind the scenes the two reportedly had a big argument about it.
Zaluzhny wrote in a column on Thursday CNN yet that the Ukrainian government has failed by not calling up enough troops. He also called for improvements to the equipment he has at his disposal.
According to some experts, the fact that Zaluzhny is even more popular than Zelensky among the Ukrainian population also plays a role. Zelensky is said to fear that Zaluzhny has political ambitions and would like to replace him as president.
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