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Updated February 1st, 2024 at 18:10 IST

Zelenskyy to Announce Dismissal of Ukraine’s Top Commander, says report

The breaking point seems to have been Zaluzhny's characterization of the conflict with Russia as a stalemate.

Digital Desk
Zelenskyy Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy | Image:X/ZelenskyyUa
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In a significant development, Ukraine's army chief, Valery Zaluzhny, is reportedly set to be dismissed by President Volodymyr Zelensky. This news isn't confirmed yet but speculation has been going on for many days. CNN has stated that it has spoken to two sources within the Ukrainian government who have revealed that Zaluzhny will indeed be dismissed. The decision, if confirmed, would mark the most significant military shakeup by Zelensky since Russia's full-scale invasion nearly two years ago.

Although a formal announcement is pending, the report reveals that Zaluzhny was informed of his firing during a meeting at the president's office on Monday. As of Wednesday evening, he remained in his post, but apparently, a presidential decree is expected by the end of the week.

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Here is what you need to know

Rumors of the meeting and Zaluzhny's dismissal circulated widely in Kyiv on Monday, gaining credibility due to the acknowledged tensions between the president and his top commander. Speculation about Zaluzhny's fate intensified following the failure of the Ukrainian counteroffensive last year, leading to reported disagreements between him and President Zelensky.

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The breaking point seems to have been Zaluzhny's characterization of the conflict with Russia as a stalemate, revealed in an interview and essay with The Economist magazine in November. This statement allegedly heightened tensions between the army chief and the president.

Despite the growing buzz around the impending dismissal, both the presidential spokesman, Serhiy Nykyforov, and the defense ministry denied the rumors on Monday. Nykyforov told CNN that the reports were untrue, and the defense ministry posted a message on its social media channels, stating, "Dear journalists, an immediate answer to everyone: No, this is not true."

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The expected dismissal of Ukraine's army chief is poised to be a significant development, reflecting the ongoing chaos within Ukraine. 

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 18:10 IST

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