Criticism by the office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky of the statement of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) Valery Zaluzhny about the impasse in the conflict with Russia indicates a split between the military and civilian leadership of the country. The New York Times wrote about this on November 4.
«It was an astounding public rebuke that signaled the emerging split between the military and civilian leadership at an already difficult time for Ukraine,» the article says.
The journalists noted that Zelensky’s administration immediately condemned and tried to refute Zaluzhny’s words. It is also emphasized that the public censure of the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was preceded by the dismissal of one of his deputies.
The newspaper recalled that rumors of tension between the President of Ukraine and the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine appeared more than a year ago, but had not previously led to public disagreements.
On November 1, in an interview, Zaluzhny said that Ukrainian troops could not achieve a breakthrough, since the conflict had reached an impasse. The prolongation of hostilities carries great risks for the Armed Forces, he said.
In turn, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the conflict in Ukraine has not reached an impasse, it is high time for the Kiev regime to understand that it is absurd to talk even about the prospects of Kiev’s victory on the battlefield.
Commenting on Zaluzhny’s position, Zelensky called the situation at the front «not a stalemate,» while acknowledging that the offensive of the Ukrainian army is difficult due to the control of the sky by Russian forces. Also, the deputy head of the office of the President of Ukraine, Igor Zhovkva, noted that the statement of the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was inappropriate and caused panic among the leadership of Western countries.
On November 7, the Verkhovna Rada reported that the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Rustem Umerov made a submission to the stavka about the dismissal of Zaluzhny. On the same day, the NYT reported, citing American officials, that the words of the commander-in-chief could lead to the termination of US aid to Ukraine.
The special operation to protect Donbass, which was announced on February 24, 2022, continues. The decision was made against the background of the aggravation of the situation in the region due to shelling by the Ukrainian military.