Tensions between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi reflected in strained communication, says MP

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Valerii Zaluzhnyi
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Valerii Zaluzhnyi
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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi communicate only at meetings of the General Staff, and their interactions are formal and tense, Serhii Rakhmanin, a member of the parliamentary Committee on National Security, Defense, and Intelligence, said in an interview with Radio NV on Dec. 4.

"As far as I know (I may be wrong), there has been no proper contact, especially recently, between the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces," revealed Rakhmanin, adding that this was his opinion.

"That is, their communication, as far as I know, now takes place exclusively at meetings of the General Staff. It is of such a formal and rather tense nature that it definitely does not contribute to the unity of our armed forces in the face of the enemy, and it definitely does not contribute to a healthy moral atmosphere in the armed forces."

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"To answer your question about whether Zelenskyy will fire Zaluzhnyi or not, I have to be honest - I don't know," Ukrainska Pravda journalist Roman Kravets said in an earlier interview with NV.

"But as far as we know, this issue has been discussed. The main reason why this is being discussed again now, and we wrote about it openly in our article, is not just some kind of underhanded games and political jealousy. It is also a different view of what to do next."

Zelenskyy's office has strenuously denied any tension between the two leaders, however, though this runs contrary to a Dec. 4 report by NV’s sister outlet Ukrainska Pravda that claimed that Zelenskyy had created parallel tracks for communication with commanders of various branches of the military which bypasses Zaluzhnyi.

On Nov. 1, Zaluzhnyi said in a series of articles in the Economist that the war was entering a tiring positional phase for Ukraine. The President's Office then issued several statements indirectly refuting the general’s statements.

Read also: Ukrainian MP warns against attempts to ‘discredit’ top military commanders

Zelenskyy said in an interview that the situation at the front is difficult now, but he does not believe that the war has reached a stalemate. At the same time, he suggested a possible change in Ukraine's military strategy, without elaborating.

The Center for Countering Disinformation said that Russia has launched a campaign to discredit Zaluzhnyi, trying to assure Ukrainians of a "split between the government and the military."

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine