Zelensky Versus Zaluzhny: The Infighting Worsens as the President Gives Orders Directly to Battlefield, Bypassing the General That Is Polling Much Higher Than Him

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Written By Maya Cantina

After the failed summer counteroffensive petered and Russian forces regained the initiative along the whole extension of the frontline, the situation in Ukraine has started to unravel in many ways.

The faltering foreign military aid issue has made the rounds as headlines detail how the US and the EU are struggling to keep up the delivery pace.

Read: Ukraine’s Zelensky Tries to Rally the Fading Support for His Military Effort – General Zaluzhny: Lack of Success Consequence of Modern Tech in Warfare

Also, we see how the world’s attention has shifted to the Middle East conflict, diverting the resources without which a rapid Russian victory is all but inevitable.

Add to that the absolute lack of manpower and the unsuccessful conscription drives, and you start to see a grim picture.

But the undeclared Ukrainian civil war between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander in Chief General Valery Zaluzhny is another major problem that is only now hitting the MSM’s spotlight – although we have been talking about it here in TGP for months.

Read: Tension in Kiev: Zelensky Publicly Criticizes Commander-In-Chief Zaluzhny for Stating That the War Is ‘In a Stalemate’, Fires His Top Deputy

The long-running spat between Zelensky and Zaluzhny is breaking into public view as Ukraine faces another difficult winter of Russian bombardment, trying to shore up financial and military support and dismissing increasing demands for peace talks with Moscow.

In the context of things, this gift of a pistol for the General takes a whole new meaning.

Newsweek reported:

“And now, the president’s office is at odds with General Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces who has become a well-known and highly respected figure in Western military and diplomatic circles. More importantly, the ‘iron general’ has become an icon among Ukrainians. […] One source with knowledge of the situation […] said the president’s office sees signs of Zaluzhny transitioning into a political actor, a role they consider inappropriate in the midst of an existential war.”

The imminent dismissal of Zaluzhny is unlikely because that would boost his political profile.

Power behind the throne? Yermak is Zelensky’s grey eminence.

The falling out is a reflection of the political ambitions of Andrey Yermak, Zelensky’s grey eminence and head of the presidential office.

The canceled 2024 presidential election still hangs in the air, and as far as potential challengers go, Zaluzhny is much higher in the polls than the president.

In November, Zaluzhny made global headlines in an article that characterized the front-line situation as a ‘stalemate’, an assertion bitterly disputed by Zelensky but eventually, now accepted by all.

“Zelensky is now ‘two steps away from dismissing Zaluzhnyi’, Ivan Stupak — a former officer in the Security Service of Ukraine and now an adviser to the Ukrainian parliament’s national security, defense and intelligence committee — told Newsweek. ‘The president tries not to talk with Zaluzhny at all anymore. Zelensky is conducting some very brief meetings with highly ranked military officials, but without the presence of Zaluzhny. […] That’s because of jealousy. In the previous period when Ukraine gained some success on the battlefield, this tension was not on the surface. It was deep inside. But now in December when everything is going wrong — about Western support, about the counteroffensive, it’s not going as planned. So, tensions have risen to the surface’.”

Once again, in a marked departure from earlier in the war, many Ukrainian sources with ‘knowledge of discussions in the president’s office’ are ‘talking out of school’ and spilling the secrets.

“‘Zelensky has been fighting literally every possible future competitor in the elections that will happen, sooner or later’, the source added. ‘This is something that is going to drag our country down… The office will say that it’s Zaluzhny who is guilty for the fact that we have not returned the lands, but this is just pathological populism. […] Zaluzhnyi was the one who stood for the fight when Zelensky had doubts and was actually ready to compromise in April’, they added.”

Time to Say Good-Bye, Volodymyr: Ukrainians Sick of War – Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko Supports General Zaluzhny over Zelensky

Also, Newsweek makes a point of repeating Andrey Yermak, who has amassed massive influence as Zelensky’s right-hand man, is central to the dispute with Zaluzhny.

“‘Andrey Yermak was playing a big role here’, one source with knowledge of the situation said. ‘Yermak obviously had intentions to change Zaluzhnyi for another more loyal person, or less popular.”

‘He is the man who is trying to rule everything, but using the hands of the president’, Stupak said. ‘He’s the first person who the president sees in the morning and the last person the president sees in the evening. They spend lots of time together, so it’s very likely that Yermak is driving some changes’.”

Read: MSM Lifts the Veil on the Undeclared Ukrainian Civil War Between President Zelensky and General Zaluzhny

Ukrayinska Pravda reported:

Sources close to Ukrainska Pravda claim that Supreme Commander-in-Chief Volodymyr Zelenskyy communicates with some commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, avoiding Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi and preventing him from holding overall command of the army.

Quote from a source from Zaluzhnyi’s inner circle: “You see, sometimes there is an impression that Zelenskyy has two types of the Armed Forces: the ‘good ones’, commanded by Syrskyi and other favourites, and ‘bad ones’, which are subordinate to Zaluzhnyi. It is very demotivating for the Commander-in-Chief and, most crucially, it prevents him from commanding the entire army.”

Details: It is claimed that Zelenskyy in fact established parallel channels for communication, avoiding Zaluzhnyi, with the commanders of different branches of the army. For instance, with Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk and Ground Force Commander Oleksandr Syrskyi.

Direct communication with commanders accelerates the president’s work, but it also ousts the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, who gets some information from his formal subordinates, if any at all.”

Read more:

Time to Say Good-Bye, Volodymyr: Ukrainians Sick of War – Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko Supports General Zaluzhny over Zelensky


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