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Zelensky on alleged conflict with top commander: 'I have working relationship with Zaluzhnyi'

by Martin Fornusek December 19, 2023 7:40 PM 2 min read
Volodymyr Zelensky (R), President of Ukraine, shakes hands with Valerii Zaluzhnyi (L), Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, during the ceremony celebrating the 32nd anniversary of Ukraine’s independence on Sophia Square on August 24, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Valentyna Polishchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Dec. 19 that he has a "working relationship" with Commander-in-Chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, responding to a question about their alleged dispute.

When asked by a journalist whether Zelensky plans to fire Zaluzhnyi and why he has not commented on the rumors about the dispute, the president asked rhetorically why he should "help somebody to develop the story further."

"He and the General Staff (of Ukraine's Armed Forces) are responsible for the situation on the battlefield. There are many issues to address there," Zelensky said during a press conference.

"I'm waiting for concrete things on the battlefield. There is a strategy, good. I want to see the details. I think that's fair."

The president said he also expects the military leadership to provide a plan to justify a large-scale mobilization.

Zelensky revealed earlier that the commanders proposed to mobilize 450,000-500,000 additional conscripts, adding that the plan still needs to address several key issues.

Earlier, reports surfaced in Western and Ukrainian media about supposed disagreements between Zelensky and Zaluzhnyi, which have received a lot of public attention following Zaluzhnyi's interview on the state of the war for The Economist.

Are Zelensky and his top general really in discord?
Editor’s Note: This story initially mistakenly said that President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi haven’t been seen together in public in two months. It was corrected since the two were seen together in public more recently. After successfully taking Ukraine through the…
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