Espreso. Global

Kyiv considers resignation of Zaluzhnyi's team, US doesn't accept this decision — military expert

5 February, 2024 Monday

Military expert Dmytro Sniehyrov has commented on the possible dismissal of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi

He said this on Espreso TV.

"Serhiy Shaptala is the head of the General Staff for planning operations of the Armed Forces, which is one of the key positions. Shaptala is a person whom the Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, Zaluzhnyi, trusted unconditionally. It is no coincidence that he thanked Shaptala today for his impeccable service in the defense of Ukrainian statehood. This means that now we are talking about the resignation of not only Zaluzhnyi, but the entire team. These processes were initiated when the commander of the Special Operations Forces was dismissed," Sniehyrov said.

According to him, the United States does not support the resignation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi. While communicating with his American colleagues about what his authority is based on, he showed the subjectivity of decision-making by the Ukrainian General Staff.

"This concerns the conduct of comprehensive actions regarding strikes on the infrastructure of the invading Russian forces in Crimea. Earlier, the United States said that it considered it inappropriate to strike at the Russian military infrastructure in Crimea, which was followed by a tough response from Zaluzhnyi. He said that the Ukrainian side would decide on the nature of the liberation of Ukrainian lands. Then, the American side said that it respected the decision-making authority of the Ukrainian General Staff. This is an indicator of respect and trust in the decision-making of the Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief on the part of our Western partners. That is why they clearly emphasized that they do not approve of the decision to dismiss Zaluzhnyi. But when it comes to the fact that Ukraine is still a subjective decision-maker as an independent and sovereign state, the American side cannot dictate the terms of the military leadership's tenure," the military expert noted.

Today, the information hysteria in the Ukrainian media is actually a reflection of Russian narratives and the actions of Russian special services, he noted.

"Let me remind you that on January 24, the former president of the Russian Federation, at the time of the downing of IL-76 in the sky over Belgorod, said that this was possible as a result of internal political conflicts between the military and political leadership of Ukraine. They tried to frame Zaluzhnyi with this episode. They say that the Ukrainian Armed Forces, respectively the General Staff, made a decision to shoot down the IL-76, which was allegedly carrying guided missiles," Sniehyrov said.

The question should be asked of the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, which defended these versions, he said.

"Who gave them the information about the possibility of using this plane while transporting the S-300?" Subsequent narratives clearly emphasized Medvedev's statements about the existence and differences in the military and political leadership. Decision-making regarding the downing of the IL-76, which, according to Russian intelligence, was supposed to pause the exchange of Ukrainian prisoners of war, is a sensitive topic for President Zelenskyy. However, for some reason, these narratives were voiced in the Ukrainian media," Sniehyrov added.

  • On January 29, information appeared online about the dismissal of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, Valerii Zaluzhnyi. However, the press secretary of the President of Ukraine, Serhiy Nikiforov, denied this.
  • Roman Kostenko, Secretary of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, said that the government's comments about Valerii Zaluzhny's resignation are a game with the people.
  • The ISW emphasized that Russian propagandists use rumors about the dismissal or resignation of the Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief for a number of information operations centered on Ukraine's internal affairs.
  • On February 1, in a column for CNN, Zaluzhnyi outlined the main tasks for 2024 for the Ukrainian Defense Forces, which may indicate his unwillingness to leave office.
  • In addition, The Washington Post assumed that Presidential Office had not yet elected a replacement for Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi, which indicates the president's indecision.
  • On February 3, The Washington Post reported, citing two anonymous sources, that the Ukrainian government had informed the administration of US President Joe Biden of a possible decision to dismiss the Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, Valerii Zaluzhnyi.
  • The very next day, Zelenskyy confirmed that he was considering replacing the Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief, Zaluzhnyi.
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