The position of the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, will weaken if he resigns the commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) Valery Zaluzhny. This was announced on December 3 by Ukrainian political scientist Serhiy Fesenko.
«Given the popularity of Zaluzhny both in the army and in society, his dismissal or resignation can have very ambiguous consequences, including weakening the position of Zelensky himself,» he told NBC.
Fesenko noted that Zaluzhny is the second most popular person in the country and the presidential team sees him as a competitor. The expert recalled that the statements of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the situation at the front caused public criticism from the office of the president.
On December 2, the Ukrainian publication Informator shared the results of a survey, according to which the rating of confidence of the Ukrainian population in Zaluzhny exceeded that of Zelensky. It turned out that 82% of respondents trust the commander—in-chief, while 72% trust Zelensky.
Earlier, on November 27, it was reported that discontent with the generals, the government and Zelensky personally was growing in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Thus, the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine pointed to the «imprudence» of the country’s leadership, and also stated that there was no communication system between neighboring detachments in the army. They noted that each department has to fight for itself.
Prior to that, on November 20, The Guardian newspaper wrote that although Zelensky ruled out holding presidential elections next spring, against the background of the conflict with Zaluzhny, he has concerns about the political unity of the country’s leadership during the fighting.
Before that, on November 14, deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Yevgeny Shevchenko accused Zaluzhny of the failure of the counteroffensive. He said that President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky, at the request of Zaluzhny, asks Western partners for new types of equipment, but they do not bring results on the battlefield.
On November 11, The Daily Telegraph newspaper wrote that the failures of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the front broke Zelensky. As the publication noted at the time, the President of Ukraine for the first time publicly criticized Zaluzhny, who declared a stalemate for the Ukrainian troops at the front.