Ukraine’s president fires his top general
After a week of confusion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pulled the trigger. He announced Thursday that he had fired Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, 10 days earlier.
For now, the divorce appears amicable. Both men posted a social media photo of the two exchanging smiles and a handshake. Zaluzhny wrote that “A decision was made about the need to change approaches and strategy.” Zelensky posted his gratitude for his general’s “two years of protecting Ukraine.”
The shake-up isn’t a shock. Zelensky signaled earlier this week that he wants “a reset, a new beginning” for both his government and military. Last year’s deeply disappointing counteroffensive exposed differences between the president and his lead general. It also demanded a political move to reinvigorate public confidence that Ukraine can still win the war.
Will this move yield results? A number of Russian military reshuffles since the invasion have done little more than create an increasingly dangerous battlefield stalemate that encourages the taking of bigger risks on both sides.