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Ukrainian Leadership Denies a Split Between Zaluzhny and Zelensky

The office of the President of Ukraine sees no signs of a split between the military and political leadership of Ukraine after the interview of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny to The Economist magazine about the situation at the front. Bloomberg writes about this, whose journalists spoke with Ukrainian officials.

Speculation about significant differences emerged after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky publicly disputed Zaluzhny’s remarks. In particular, The New York Times published an article about signs of a “growing split.”

In an interview with The Economist, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, among other things, said that the war with Russia has “reached a dead end,” and the Ukrainian offensive risks giving way to a trench war that could drag on for years. To get out of this situation, according to Zaluzhny, Ukraine needs innovative military technologies.

In response, the deputy head of the office of the President of Ukraine, Igor Zhovkva , said that the interview with the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine caused “panic” among international partners. He expressed the opinion that there is no need to comment on what is happening at the front, because it “makes the aggressor’s job easier.” “If in this way [thanks to the article] we somehow achieve success, perhaps this is some kind of very deep strategic plan. But to me, to be honest, [it seems] very strange,” Zhovkva said.

Zelensky said that he does not consider the situation at the front to be a stalemate. Ukraine, he said, is trying to take care of its military in a situation where Russia, through its aviation, controls the skies.

The Office of the President of Ukraine denies the split. The head of the department, Andrei Ermak, told Natalya Moseychuk, a journalist of the Ukrainian TV channel “1+1”, that the country’s authorities have a single position – to defeat Russia. “I see no signs that there are any other positions in the military-political leadership today. We have a common position – to win this war,” Ermak said in an interview, an excerpt of which was published by Moseychuk.

“The president made an extremely important clarification,” Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, told Bloomberg. “I don’t see any disagreements or conflicts at the level of the top military-political leadership.” According to him, Zelensky and Zaluzhny communicate almost every day, and there have been no changes in their conversations in recent months. In particular, the president and commander-in-chief continue to discuss adjustments to Ukraine’s military strategy.

Another person close to Zelensky, who spoke to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity, described the relationship between the president and the commander-in-chief as something far from “big headlines” in the media.

However, according to Bloomberg, pressure on the Ukrainian military is growing amid a lack of success at the front and mistakes that lead to the mass death of soldiers. In the list of factors of such pressure, the agency also cites Zelensky’s decision to remove Major General Viktor Khorenko from the post of commander of the Special Operations Forces of Ukraine without explanation. Later, the country’s leadership explained that he was “needed in a certain direction” and would serve in military intelligence.

The emerging disagreements could make Zelensky more vulnerable politically, writes Bloomberg. “The opposition seeks to use the tension around Zaluzhny to undermine the president’s position. One of the deputies, close to former President Petro Poroshenko, said in a telegram that there is a draft decree on the dismissal of the commander. He later deleted this message, saying that his other sources denied this information,” the agency notes.

Source : Meduza