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MP from Zelensky's party slams commander-in-chief, calls for his dismissal

by The Kyiv Independent news desk November 26, 2023 11:35 PM 2 min read
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Mariana Bezuhla, a member of parliament from President Volodymyr Zelensky's Servant of the People party, on Nov. 26 called for the dismissal of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine's armed forces.

The statement comes amid speculation in Western and Ukrainian media about alleged disagreements between Zelensky and Zaluzhnyi.

Bezuhla, a deputy head of the parliament's national security committee, claimed that Zaluzhnyi had not provided a plan for Ukraine's armed forces for next year.

"If the military leadership can't provide any plan for 2024, and if all their proposals for mobilization boil down to needing more people without any proposal for changes in the military system, then this leadership should step down," Bezuhla said.

The Kyiv Independent requested comments from the President’s Office and the Armed Forces but did not get a response by the time of publication.

Asked whether Bezuhla’s stance was in line with the Servant of the People party's position, its spokeswoman Yulia Paliychuk told Ukrainska Pravda that Bezuhla "is responsible for her own words."

Bezuhla wrote on Facebook that the "issue escalated during the summer" during the budget planning for 2024.

"We asked (Zaluzhnyi) what we should plan for. How do you envision the war? Why create a brigade instead of completing existing ones? How much will a new brigade cost?" she wrote.

Bezuhla said she had also asked Zaluzhnyi whether funds should be allocated for rotation, demobilization, and training.

"Why isn't the purchase of tourniquets planned for 2024 at all, for example? Do you understand that one casualty costs the state Hr 15 million and a combat application tourniquet is 10,000 times less? Besides the tragedy of death itself."

Her post implies that Zaluzhnyi did not respond to those questions.

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