Ukraine's Defence Minister states Commander-in-Chief's dismissal not considered

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Rustem Umierov, the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, has stated in a commentary for journalists that the replacement of Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is not being considered.

Source: Umierov in a commentary for Suspilne media outlet’s correspondent during a joint briefing with the Latvian Defence Minister

Quote: "There are always some unresolved issues which were there before I took office, and I am very open about them towards the society and my colleagues. There are no such plans [to dismiss Zaluzhnyi]. I know that this issue is being promoted both externally and internally. Today the Commander-in-Chief and I congratulated the Ground Forces Commander together. We are always cracking jokes about it, so I asked him: "Who is firing you this time?"

Details: Umierov also noted that he is always open to suggestions concerning the changes in the military command. If some changes are planned, he said would report about them.

Background:

  • On 29 November, The Economist wrote that along with the harsh reality of trench warfare, tensions on the "political battlefield" in Kyiv are also growing. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy considers the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces his rival, and political infighting harms Ukraine.

  • Ukrainska Pravda sources say that Supreme Commander-in-Chief Volodymyr Zelenskyy communicates with some commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine directly, bypassing Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi and interfering with his overall command of the army.

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