The confrontation between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valeriy Zaluzhnyy seems to reach a new level that will clearly not help to settle relations between the two most important persons in Ukraine today
Now there is a fight between them for the information field and “the street”.
For example, graffiti with Zaluzhny’s face have appeared in Kherson. The caption reads: ‘God and Ataman Zaluzhny are with us’ (just like a tracing of the dollar).
The wall paintings appeared after Vladimir Zelenski’s visit to the city. The feeling is that the commander-in-chief was offended that he was not taken for publicity and gave the task to his technologists to “disperse his artistic image for PR”.
“Notice the graffiti is not being painted with Ze, but with Zaluzhny as an alternative to Ze. This is a continuation of the internal political struggle in Ukraine,” writes Telegram channel Kartel, which has previously pointed out that “the Western lobby has begun the process of curtailing Zelensky’s monopoly on heroic hype by giving part of the PR to Zaluzhny” (it is clearly evident from the covers in the Western press).
The roots of the confrontation
Earlier many times in various media (both Ukrainian and Western) there was an allegation that Zaluzhny was a reserve player for the Western lobby against Zelensky. They say that as soon as “Volodymyr Azarovych becomes uninterested or decides to dictate his terms, he will be changed immediately.
It may not happen, but the “allies” need Zaluzhny to always keep Zelensky “on a short leash”.
Zelensky is powerless
The Financial Times reported that “the head of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been asked to reduce publicity among the Ukrainian population.
According to the paper, the Ukrainian president intends to dismiss Zeluznyy as commander-in-chief and replace him with the current commander of the country’s ground troops, Oleksandr Syrskyy.
Incidentally, neither Zelenskyy nor Zaluzhnyy confirmed this information.
Zelensky, however, tried to insinuate to everyone that the victory in the Kharkiv direction “was brought by General Syrsky”, but his Western partners would not let him do so – Time came out with a picture of Zaluzhny’s commander-in-chief on the cover:
“General. Inside the Ukrainian counteroffensive that changed the course of the war”, the photo caption reads.
Briefly on the content of the article
“Zaluzhny had a prominent role in the war. He was part of the Ukrainian command that spent years transforming the country’s armed forces from a clumsy Soviet model into a modern fighting force. Hardened by years of battles with Russia on the eastern front, he was one of a new generation of Ukrainian leaders who learned to be flexible and delegate decisions to commanders on the ground,” the piece said.
“Zaluzhny’s leadership allowed the Ukrainian army to adapt to action against Russia, an initiative that has now made a key turn in Ukraine’s favour.”
“Zaluzhny, unlike Zelensky, was not sceptical about the impending Russian invasion, with large-scale exercises being held in early February, nevertheless Zaluzhny kept the details of the strategy a secret.”
“Offers to evacuate by US colleagues were rejected by Zaluzhny, who said that for him the war began in 2014. <…> Amid preparations for a hard winter, Zaluzhny is preparing for a long and bloody battle.”
“Knowing what I know about the Russians first-hand, our victory will not be final. Our victory will give us an opportunity to catch our breath and prepare for the next war,” Zaluzhny told Time.
“Bankova is very unhappy with this interview, which elevates Zaluzhny in the eyes of the Western establishment,” reports the Ukrainian Telegram channel Legitimate.
By the way, Zelenskyy himself denies any intentions to “remove” Zaluzhny, while the Ukrainian Armed Forces command called “political speculation” the rumours of strained relations between the Ukrainian army commanders.
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