Zalujny gave a speech construction It was written before the “anticipated announcement of his termination,” CNN reported Thursday. In it, he talks about his goals for 2024 and lists the challenges Ukraine faces, including a reduction in military support from key allies and Russia’s ability to evade sanctions to build more weapons.
He also points to the general’s “significant advantage” in being able to hire as many people as Moscow wants, compared to “the inability of government agencies in Ukraine to improve the staffing levels of our armed forces without using unpopular weapons.” measures” — a thinly veiled stab at Zelenskyi’s government.
At such a delicate point in relations, it remains to be seen how such a dramatic shakeup of Kiev’s military command, if one comes, will be viewed by its Western allies.
On Thursday, Ukraine received major support from its European partners in the form of a A $54 billion bailout package to keep the country’s war-torn economy afloat.
But new US aid is stalling in Congress, and Zelenskiy is struggling to keep the world’s attention completely elsewhere. Crisis in the Middle East As Russian forces launch a new offensive in northeastern Ukraine.
Throughout the war, Ukraine has publicly worked hard to show resolve and unity with Zelensky. fight against corruption Former President Petro Poroshenko told NBC News to fire close allies suspected of any wrongdoing, but firing Zalujny would be like “hitting the bull” on national unity.
“Unity was and will be possible only around the Armed Forces,” Poroshenko said in a written statement sent by his spokesperson on Whatsapp. “And Valery Zalujnyi became their embodiment.”
“In Moscow, they will be overwhelmed with joy. This will not make Ukraine stronger and its consequences will be extremely negative,” added Poroshenko, Zelensky’s staunch opponent. He lost to him in the 2019 elections and may still harbor political ambitions.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday’s saga shows that Kiev has “many problems” and that “things are not going well there.”
“Rumors are certainly harmful,” said Christopher Tuck, an expert on conflict and security at King’s College London. “Any sign of disagreement at the highest levels of decision-making suggests that the Ukrainian government is uncertain about the course and direction of the war. It is clearly useless at a time when the government should be trusted.”
That helps preserve Russia’s hope that it can weaken Ukraine’s political will to continue fighting, Tak said.
Rumors about Zalujny’s dismissal have already led to talk of possible replacements in the Ukrainian press. The names of ground forces commander Oleksandr Syrskyi and intelligence chief Kirilo Budanov top most lists, but it is unclear whether either man would welcome the responsibility of succeeding the widely respected general.
Zalujnyi, 50, is a career military man and led Ukraine’s armed forces in 2021, seven months before the full-scale invasion of Moscow. Ukrainians thank him for it keeps the Russians behind Around the capital Kiev in the early months of the war and for two major Ukrainian counteroffensive campaigns in 2022 large areas were liberated in the east and south.
His approval rating remains high, although his leadership did not make significant progress during the counter-attack last summer.