Ukraine’s top security official denies there is Zelenskyy-Zaluzhnyi ‘conflict’

7 March, 03:45 PM
Oleksiy Danilov (Photo:www.rnbo.gov.ua)

Oleksiy Danilov (Photo:www.rnbo.gov.ua)

Russia is trying to sow discord among Ukrainians by spreading rumours about an alleged “conflict” between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief General Valery Zaluzhnyi, a top Ukrainian official has said.

Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said on Ukrainian national television on March 7 that claims there was a dispute between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi regarding the defense of the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast were false

“I want to say that someone really wants us to have discord here,” Danilov said.

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“I’d (also) would like to point out that internal destabilization has always been one of Russia’s goals.”

Danilov said Russia cannot defeat Ukraine by military means, so it is now trying the tactic of internal destabilization.

“Russia is considering the issue of the so-called Minsk-3 (agreements) today, and they (Russians) are doing everything possible and impossible for this,” the official added referring to an earlier peace agreement that scaled back the fighting in 2015, but did not halt it.

Earlier, German newspaper Bild, citing its sources in the Ukrainian political leadership, claimed there were disagreements between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi regarding the further actions of the Ukrainian military in the Bakhmut area.

According to Bild’s sources, a few weeks ago, Zaluzhnyi recommended that Zelenskyy think about withdrawing the Ukrainian defense forces from Bakhmut “for tactical reasons.”

In turn, Zelenskyy denied there was a “conflict” with Zaluzhnyi.

In a video address on March 6, Zelenskyy emphasized that both Zaluzhnyi and the Commander of Ukraine’s Ground Forces, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, had informed him about the situation in Bakhmut during a meeting of the Ukrainian High Command.

“Unfortunately, there are many disinformation messages from those who can’t even hear completely closed conversations about defense, but claim about some defense decisions,” the president said.

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