Mr. Zelensky’s `gamble` when replacing commander in chief in the midst of fierce fighting

Mr. Zelensky's `gamble` when replacing commander in chief in the midst of fierce fighting 0

Mr. Zelensky’s `gamble` when replacing commander in chief in the midst of fierce fighting

(Dan Tri) – Observers warn that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky replacing the commander in chief of the armed forces at this time seems to be a risky move.

President Volodymyr Zelensky and former Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny (Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine).

The large-scale military reshuffle replacing Ukraine’s army chief this week is expected to pose major political and military risks for President Volodymyr Zelensky as the war with Russia enters its second year.

Valeriy Zaluzhny, one of Ukraine’s most popular generals, has been replaced by ground forces commander Oleksandr Syrsky.

The change comes as Kiev faces ammunition shortages and uncertainty about the future of military aid from the United States as Russian forces begin to gain the upper hand on the battlefield.

`First of all, this is a risky decision because these changes come at a very complicated time and this could make military management difficult,` said military expert Serhiy Zgurets.

According to Mr. Zgurets, although Mr. Syrsky and Zaluzhny have the same approach regarding war, the new commander-in-chief’s deputies are still unclear.

That risk of instability appears when the Russian army is tightening the siege around the town of Avdiivka in Donetsk, which Ukraine has been defending for many months.

Ukraine is also reconsidering the plan to mobilize new recruits into the army to restore the force after the unsuccessful counterattack since the middle of last year.

The replacement of the commander-in-chief took place after many months when Ukraine’s internal affairs showed signs of rift.

When news of Mr. Zaluzhny’s replacement was announced, Mr. Zelensky declared that the move was not political and that he felt there was a need for a large-scale reform in the armed forces after failures in the armed forces.

Volodymyr Fesenko, a political analyst, predicted replacing Mr. Zaluzhny would likely hurt Mr. Zelensky because of the general’s widespread popularity.

The level of popularity and trust for Mr. Zaluzhny skyrocketed after nearly 2 years of fighting.

Mr. Zaluzhny’s image has been spray-painted on walls across the country to mark Ukraine’s achievements on the battlefield for nearly two years.

`There are a lot of people who are unhappy and the level of (negative) emotions is quite high,` he emphasized.

According to Mr. Fesenko, by replacing Mr. Zaluzhny, Mr. Zelensky may have created a potential political opponent in a future presidential election.

In addition, according to Mr. Zgurets, after Mr. Zaluzhny is replaced, any adverse developments on the battlefield could lead to the public blaming Mr. Syrsky, even though there are many other factors such as lack of ammunition,

That could lead to criticism that the military reform is `irrational and wrong` and this is a development that could be detrimental to Mr. Zelensky.

After the announcement of Zaluzhny’s dismissal, some passersby in central Kiev openly questioned the move and expressed skepticism.

Oleksandr Kalinichev, a doctor, said: `The president probably has a clearer view of the overall situation but I would say that changing generals midstream is not advisable.`

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