Mehmet Ali Güller

Was Zaluzhnyi dismissed by the Pentagon?

10 Şubat 2024 Cumartesi

Ukrainian President Zelensky finally dismissed the Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine, Zaluzhnyi. We say finally because the Zelensky-Zaluzhnyi conflict has been one of the most debated issues in the Ukrainian war for some time.

The root of the problem is primarily that the Ukraine offensive, supported by the US/NATO, failed to gain even a meter of territory, and politicians wanted to lay the blame on the military...

According to German Lt. Col. Wolfgang Richter, who gave an interview to German NTV television, the Zelensky-Zaluzhnyi conflict stemmed from the president wanting to continue the offensive, but the chief of general staff had to pull the army back to defense due to the army's capabilities and possibilities. Zelensky wants to regain lost territories, while Zaluzhnyi says this is an "illusion." (Sputnik, February 6, 2024)

In summary, we can describe the situation as a deep chasm between political goals and military realities. Zelensky sets goals, but Zaluzhnyi cannot achieve these goals due to the realities on the ground.

Zaluzhnyi had already clearly laid out this contradiction in The Economist magazine, arguing that "the war with Russia had reached a deadlock."


So, why does Zelensky set a goal that does not align with the realities on the ground? This is the crux of the matter.

Because Zelensky is acting according to the needs of the US, not Ukraine. The US strategy for Ukraine is based on a "long war." The longer the war lasts, the more Russia will be preoccupied, the deeper the cut in Europe-Russia relations, the more liquefied natural gas the US can sell to Europe, the US can maintain its dominance over the EU, and sustain Atlanticism in Europe against Russia and China, etc.

Therefore, the conflict was not between Zelensky and Zaluzhnyi, but between the Pentagon and Zaluzhnyi. According to an analysis by Politico, during the failed offensive, Ukrainian Chief of the General Staff Zaluzhnyi did not listen to the Pentagon's military advisors and implemented his tactics. (Sputnik, February 8, 2024)

Even if the Pentagon's tactics were followed, the outcome would not have changed because the mistake made in strategy could not be corrected with tactics.


Ukrainian President Zelensky appointed the commander of the land forces (Lieutenant General) Aleksandr Syrsky as the new chief of the general staff, replacing Zaluzhnyi. Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov commented on the change with these words: "War does not remain the same. War changes and requires change. We need new approaches and new strategies." (AA, February 8, 2024)

How should we interpret these words? Will they shift to a new offensive with the 500,000-strong army created through the comprehensive mobilization that Zelensky has been wanting for some time? This will result in even more disastrous outcomes, as the mobilized army will be even more inexperienced. Or will the new strategy be the Pentagon's "special warfare"?

Whichever option is chosen, they are in a deadlock, as Zaluzhnyi pointed out. Ukraine can't achieve its goals while being constantly dependent on the West, relying on the approvals of congresses and parliaments for military aid.

Moreover, as long as Ukraine continues to support the US's "long war" strategy, it may even run out of territory to defend.

This must be seen, as neighbors wait in ambush according to the maps from before World War II!

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