Once again, Kiev has once again become a hotbed of rumors about (alleged) bad relations between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Supreme Commander-in-Chief Valery Zalony. For hours, the channels of the social network “Telegram” or even the rotating newspaper “Financial Times” itself took the comfort of the senior military officer for granted, a move with great potential for destabilization, and occurring precisely at a critical moment for the country, when waiting Millionaires for financial aid packages to keep a pulse on the Russian invaders and continue to function as a nation. Finally, the Ministry of Defense itself and even the press secretary of the Head of State, Serhiy Nikiforov, denied this possibility, without being able to dispel the perception that such relief at the head of the military state could eventually be achieved, taking into account the differences between the two most important figures in the Slavic state today. .
Break the fire
According to a chronology of events published by the Rotary Kyiv Post, it all started on Monday night, when Borislav Bereza, a former parliament member and respected commentator, announced on Telegram Zalwini's dismissal. “The information has been confirmed… Today in Moscow they are celebrating.” He then turned the news around by confirming that the military commander had rejected offers to head the National Security Council and to head embassies, sending online and other more established media outlets racing to confirm the news. Among those who echoed this were, for example, journalists of local standing, such as Roman Tsymbalyuk, MP Oleksiy Huntsarenko, or Telegram channels such as Truha or JOKER, all of whom cite their own sources.
From the foreign press, the British newspaper Financial Times was responsible for extinguishing the fire, as its correspondent Christopher Miller signed its facts from Kiev, who, after consulting four sources, reached the same conclusion as the rest of the newspapers. The local press was echoing possible reactions of disapproval among the leaders of its Western allies, without whose weapons and financial aid Ukraine would have been absorbed by its powerful eastern neighbour. Finally, it was the Ministry of Defense that was responsible for putting the matter to the ground in a brief statement with a somewhat sarcastic tone that spread on Telegram: “Dear journalists, we quickly answer you all: No, it is not true.”
Many media outlets suggest that the disputes have a more personal element than a strategic one. In opinion polls, Zalozhny, who has 88% public approval, leads the head of state by more than 20 points. Al-Askari is considered the architect of the successful campaigns that were able to stop Russian forces at the gates of the capital before the start of the war, or that were able to force the invaders to retreat in the Kharkiv or Kherson regions, and he is a serious contender for the presidency. According to Petro Poroshenko, former president and Zelensky's predecessor in office, the military's eventual dismissal “will not be driven by strategic or military considerations,” but rather “on the basis of emotions and envy.”
Two months ago, Zalony belied Zelensky's optimistic statements about the war by admitting that the Ukrainian offensive had not achieved the desired results and that the war fronts were barely moving. The coming months may generate new frictions, bearing in mind that it will be necessary to implement an unpopular mobilization plan that could harm the popularity and expectations of whoever undertakes this plan, depending on whether it is the political establishment or the army in the end.
All this speculation comes as Russian forces continue their offensive on various war fronts, with waves of soldiers rushing towards the Ukrainian lines, set to occupy places like Avdiivka in Donbas, with little strategic value and at the cost of losing a large number of troops. men.
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