Ukraine’s Zelenksy eyes political and military reshuffle

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has confirmed his intention to reshuffle the political and military leadership in Ukraine, in remarks to Italian media.

In the wake of reports about the possible dismissal of the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian military, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Zelensky told the Italian public broadcaster Rai on Sunday evening that “a reset, a new beginning is certainly necessary.”

This meant “the replacement of a number of leading figures in the state, not just in a single area such as the military,” he said.

The 50-year-old Zaluzhnyi became commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army a few months before the Russian invasion in February 2022. Under his command, Ukrainian troops prevented a full invasion and later recaptured some occupied territories.

The general is popular with his soldiers and with the population at large. He is rumoured to have political ambitions, which he denies.

In recent weeks, there have been increasing reports of a power struggle between him and Zelensky. According to various media outlets, the Ukrainian head of state had already planned to replace the general last week, but was initially unable to push this through.

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