Was Zelensky’s Top General Just Whisked Off To Become Ambassador To UK?
The near future fate of Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny continues to be subject of rampant speculation, after President Zelensky belatedly confirmed that he’s about to embark in a major shake-up of military leadership.
Already it’s been widely reported that Gen. Zaluzhny is resisting Zelensky’s move to force the top general out, and there are also reports suggesting it could trigger mutiny as many of the military’s ultra-nationalist hardline units are very loyal to him personally.
While there have been an number of leaks going in different directions, and contradictory reports concerning what’s next, it’s likely that if Zelensky was able to successfully fire him, Zaluzhny would be moved to another government position, in order to placate his loyalists.
One fresh reports cites a Ukrainian lawmaker who says Zaluzhny will quickly be appointed Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and that he would be whisked out of the country and head to London “within days”. If accurate, this would presumably be a measure to ensure there would be no rebellion within the military chain of command.
Below are statements cited and translated in Russian media by Ukrainian lawmaker Yevgeny Shevchenko:
“I would like to say that according to my sources, Zaluzhny has agreed to be the ambassador to Great Britain. He is highly likely to go there and we know that those who leave the country as ambassadors are political retirees. None of them has ever returned to their former positions, this is Ukraine’s tradition. I hate to disappoint any Zaluzhny fans,” he said in an interview with Vadim Karasev, director of Ukraine’s Institute of Global Strategies.
But it’s at this point anything but confirmed that Zaluzhny has actually agreed to peacefully exit as defense chief and take up the ambassadorship.
For example UK media reported the following on Tuesday:
Sources told the Financial Times that Mr Zelensky offered the military chief two alternative roles last Monday, including ambassador to the UK, a position that has been unfilled since last year, but that General Zaluzhny refused them.
As we detailed earlier, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh believes, as we do, that the open disagreement is much more than a “tabloid war” – but that it’s really all about opening serious peace negotiations with Moscow.
Zaluzhny’s ‘realist’ camp is seen as more in favor, while Zelensky has ruled out ceasefire talks entirely while demanding Russia even given up claims over Crimea (which realistically is simply never going to happen). The top general starting months ago reportedly angered Zelensky and his top officials by giving interviews with Western press wherein he admitted there will be no “beautiful breakthrough” in the war against Russia.