Ukraine plans to fire top military commander amid Russian conflict, White House informs: report

The Ukrainian government reportedly informed the White House of its intention to fire the country’s top military commander, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyiresponsible for leading the war against the Russian occupation forces.

What happened: The decision to remove General Zaluzhnyi, who was at odds with the president Volodymyr Zelenskiy on various issues, comes after a failed Ukrainian counteroffensive last year to retake key Russian-controlled territory, Reuters reported, citing two knowledgeable sources.

The disagreement between Zelenskiy and Zaluzhnyi, known as “the Iron General”, reportedly revolves around a proposed new military mobilization, with the president opposing the general’s suggestion to conscript 500,000 additional troops.

See also: Russia’s largest Ukrainian attack to date: Unpacking the latest missile, Drone Salvo

The process to relieve Zaluzhnyi of his position as commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is currently on hold while both sides work out next steps.

While the White House has not taken a position on the plan to replace Zaluzhnyi, U.S. officials have told Ukraine they do not oppose the decision.

“The United States is fine with Ukraine firing him,” the source said. “At this time, both sides (the president and the general) have taken a pause to determine what the future will look like, and for now the status quo will remain until further notice.”

The potential dismissal of Zaluzhnyi, a very popular and inspiring figure among Ukrainian troops, could have a significant impact on morale.

Because matter: The decision to fire General Zaluzhnyi comes at a critical moment in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The country is grappling with a number of challenges, including a recent indictment by the Russian president Vladimir Putin of having shot down a Russian military plane carrying 65 prisoners of war.

This incident further escalated tensions between the two nations.

Additionally, Ukraine’s military capabilities have been strained due to shortages of critical munitions, with the White House’s approval of a new aid package stalled by a dispute with Republican lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the potential dismissal of General Zaluzhnyi could signal a change in Ukraine’s approach to the conflict.

Read next: Biden warns Congress against giving Putin his ‘greatest gift’: ‘inviting him to do the right thing’

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and has been reviewed and published by Benzinga Editors.

Photo courtesy: Presidential Office of Ukraine

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