What's happening around Zaluzhnyi

Valerii Zaluzhnyi
Valerii Zaluzhnyi

Rumors of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi’s possible resignation have intensified after two events.

Rumors about Zaluzhnyi's possible resignation come from various sources. What I see are primarily sources connected in one way or another with Russian telegram channels and Russian media. This may be a desirable thing for them.

Are there any formal grounds for removing Valeriy Zaluzhnyi from the post of Commander-in-Chief? I don't see any. It would be completely inappropriate.

Valeriy Zaluzhnyi is in his proper place. As far as I understand it, these rumors intensified after two circumstances. First, in Valeriy Zaluzhnyi’s article published in The Economist, he described the scenarios under which the situation could develop. He described the means that the defense forces need to change the battlefield in favor of Ukraine.

The second is an article by Simon Schuster in Time magazine, where there was a hint that, according to his sources, some high-ranking officials, generals, would be removed from office shortly. For some reason, a certain number of people decided it was Zaluzhnyi.

There could have been formal reasons for this. But I say again: I see no reason for this to happen. I am deeply convinced that Valeriy Zaluzhnyi is in his proper place. And I sincerely hope that the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Volodymyr Zelenskyy shares this point of view.

I am trying to figure out what Volodymyr Ariev was guided by. I did not say that his sources of information were Russian media. Perhaps he had some other source. How reliable, how informed, this is a question for him. I do not know.

Why is the point of view of the Russians being transmitted?

There may be channels here that are interested in spreading such information. We commit information sabotage in the enemy's rear, and the enemy commits information sabotage in our rear. This is an absolutely standard practice of war. It should not affect our defense capability and our unity, no matter what.

As for micro-victories, it's not a micro-victory, because the Russians will keep undermining us. This is quite understandable. They try to do it all the time. They were doing it before the full-scale invasion, and they are doing it now.

We are trying to undermine them as much as we can. We also have the right specialists, the right methods, and the right goals and means.

As for whether or not Zaluzhnyi’s article caused irritation? The reaction to it was completely different. This applies not only to Ukraine but also to our foreign partners. Everyone saw what they wanted to see.

For example, one part of the American political landscape saw it as a fixation, a statement that the situation has signs of a stalemate. Others saw what Zaluzhnyi actually wrote about. The article is devoted to what needs to be done to turn this situation from parity, as he described it, to our favor. What means do we need, what elements do we need, what should we focus on?

So the question is not about the article itself, but about how to evaluate it. Everyone sees in it what they want to see. How and who evaluates it is everyone's personal point of view.

Frankly, I didn't see anything fundamentally new for me there. It is crucial that it comes from the mouth of a person who knows what he is talking about – from the lips of a person responsible for Ukraine's national security, because he manages all components of the defense forces.

The volume, nature, and system of supply of weapons, armaments, and special military equipment to Ukraine is decreasing. This is no secret to anyone. Today, it is officially recognized on all levels. This is primarily due to subjective reasons, not so much ours as the problems of our partners. There are a whole range of different circumstances and factors. There is a new, possibly large-scale war in the Middle East, ending with the election campaign and the problems in the budget process in the United States.

There is also some turbulence in some European countries related to elections. To this can be added the fact that the stocks of weapons, armaments, and ammunition in the warehouses of European countries have decreased. Unfortunately, the deployment of production is rather slow. With all their desire, our partners, even if they really wanted to and withstood criticism from their opponents, cannot meet our needs.

That is, there are objective and subjective reasons related to our partners. They will likely not be able to meet our needs in the near future to the extent that they have been doing so recently.

Returning to Zaluzhnyi’s article, it can be treated in various ways. But this is an attempt to focus attention both within Ukraine and our partners on those things, on the tools that the Defense Forces need most to break the parity – to gain an advantage and try to turn the war from a positional war into a maneuver war in the foreseeable future.

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It will be difficult for us to resist the Russians in a positional war (and Zaluzhnyi writes about this; there is no secret here either). Given the different economies, the different mobilization potential, and the different production potential.

To have an advantage, we need to concentrate on those things that are critically important. These are electronic warfare systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and modern demining systems in large numbers and various kinds. I'm not going to retell it. Everyone interested has read it, and those who have not yet read it will have the opportunity to do so.

The dismissal of Viktor Khorenko, the commander of the SSO forces, from his post was the subject of an informal discussion in our committee. There were different points of view. I can't say more than that. This is if you are asking about the position of the committee. If it were officially defined, I would have voiced it. This is my personal point of view. This suspension is strange to me. I did not understand the reasons and grounds. I don't remember any specific questions or complaints against Mr. Khorenko. This is the first thing.

Second. The Special Operations Forces (of course, with certain flaws and shortcomings in their activities, which is quite inevitable in a war), as far as I understand, under his command, under his leadership, from my point of view, looked more effective than under his predecessor. Several positive developments were correctly reflected in the work of the Special Operations Forces.

There were many effective operations. Some are still secret, though the Special Operations Forces even reported some on their official website.

This is strange to me because there were no formal grounds for this resignation. What happened behind the scenes is unclear to me. I do not rule out that there was some subjective factor that, unfortunately, influenced this personnel decision, which should not have taken place in a time of war, in a legal regime of martial law.

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This is my guess. But I suspect some subjective circumstances had nothing to do with General Khorenko's performance of his duties.

As for the procedure, to dismiss the commander of the Special Operations Forces, the president should have been guided solely by the proposal of the Minister of Defense. But in times of war, it is logical that such things are agreed upon, coordinated, or at least informed about such a personnel change by the Commander-in-Chief, who uses all components of the Defense Forces during the war.

Therefore, this is also an alarming symptom. Formally, as lawyers say, the president was not obliged to do this. But this is a question of (I don't like this word, but it fits here) teamwork. If the commander-in-chief does not know about this, it looks strange.

I can be reproached for saying that the president probably didn't know that Zaluzhnyi would be published in The Economist, either. But these are slightly different things.

When it comes to war and the military, it would probably be logical for such decisions, for example, if there were good reasons for it, they are to be discussed, for instance, at a meeting of the Stavka or the National Security Council. They would be approved and legalized there. It would at least have been discussed. This looks, in my opinion, absolutely logical.

This raises many questions – not only for me, but also for citizens and military personnel, including Mr. Khorenko's former subordinates, who, as far as I know, greatly respected him.

That is why this is such an alarming symptom. I would not want it to become a trend, but unfortunately, it is a cloud that I hope will not turn into a rainstorm.

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