As the Ukrainian war effort has faltered, fractures have begun to emerge in Kiev between top officials. The most significant is the division between President Zelensky and the head of Ukraine’s military, General Valery Zaluzhny. The split is alarming US officials.
"Officials in Washington are concerned differences between Zelensky and his army chief, Zaluzhny, are slowing efforts to crystallize a new strategy," Bloomberg reports.
"With a decisive breakthrough unlikely in the coming months, Kiev’s allies say designing a clear military strategy for how to defend current positions and then break through Russian lines is crucial," the report continues.
The fractures emerged between Zaluzhny and Zelensky late last year when the general said that the war had become a stalemate. The admission means that Zelensky’s stated goal of reconquering Ukraine is impossible.
The president and his military are also at odds over Ukraine’s conscription policy. Zaluzhny is unhappy with the slow pace at which Zelensky has expanded Kiev’s draft.
The conflict between Zelensky and the Ukrainian armed forces has been brewing for some time. In October, Time Magazine reported that troops had ignored orders to advance even when those orders came from Zelensky.
Videos of Ukrainians kidnapped on the streets by military recruiters are all over Ukrainian telegram channels.— Glenn Diesen (@Glenn_Diesen) January 6, 2024
- As the public becomes increasingly angry with the government, Zelensky will become cautious about arming the angry masses pic.twitter.com/Ggp90jzm2v
The military personnel are not the only Ukrainians to break with their president. Last year, an aide to Zelensnky said the president was deluding himself into thinking the war was winnable. The mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, has warned that Zelensky is turning Ukraine into an authoritarian state.