US Officials Concerned About Split Between Zelensky and Military Chief

by | Jan 11, 2024

US Officials Concerned About Split Between Zelensky and Military Chief

by | Jan 11, 2024

ukrainian commander in chief, valery zaluzhny and president volodymyr zelensky.

As the Ukrainian war effort lags into its third year, fractures have begun to emerge between top officials in Kiev. The most significant is the growing divide between President Volodymyr Zelensky and the head of Ukraine’s military, General Valery Zaluzhny. The split is alarming US officials. 

“Officials in Washington are concerned differences between Zelensky and his army chief, Zaluzhny, are slowing efforts to crystallize a new strategy,” Bloomberg reports. “With a decisive breakthrough unlikely in the coming months, Kiev’s allies say designing a clear military strategy for how to defend current positions and then break through Russian lines is crucial.”

The fractures emerged between Zaluzhny and Zelensky late last year when the general said that the war had become a stalemate. The admission means that Zelensky’s stated goal of reconquering Ukraine is impossible. 

The president and his military are also at odds over Ukraine’s conscription policy. Zaluzhny is unhappy with the slow pace at which Zelensky has expanded Kiev’s draft. 

The conflict between Zelensky and the Ukrainian armed forces has been brewing for some time. In October, Time Magazine reported that troops had ignored orders to advance even when those orders came from Zelensky. 

The military personnel are not the only Ukrainians to break with their president. Last year, an aide to Zelensnky said the president was deluding himself into thinking the war was winnable. The mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, has warned that Zelensky is turning Ukraine into an authoritarian state. 

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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