Andriy Yermak, head of the President’s Office and generally considered President Volodymyr Zelensky’s most powerful advisor, appeared on national TV, where he tried to dispel rumors of disagreements between the President and his top general.

In a lengthy interview with Natalia Moseichuk on the 1+1 channel, Yermak was asked to comment on talk that Zelensky is preparing to replace Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) and Ukraine’s most popular general.

“I have not heard anything about it; I have no such information,” Yermak said.

He also insisted that both the political and military command of Ukraine share a unified objective: “to win this war.”

“We maintain a constant dialogue, working around the clock,” he added. “We must be smarter, more creative.”

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Following an article that quoted Gen. Zaluzhny, published on Nov. 2 in The Economist along with an essay of his on military matters, Western media has been speculating about an alleged rift between the Ukrainian government and the military. Some members of Zelensky’s circle disapproved of the AFU commander-in-chief’s claim that the war was at “a stalemate.”

Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of the President’s Office, criticized Zaluzhny’s article on a Nov. 4 national TV appearance, saying that if he were in the military he would not “comment for the press or the general public about what is happening at the front and what might occur there.”

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According to Zhovkva, detailed comments on the situation at the front could significantly aid the “work” of the Russian Federation. He mentioned receiving a call from an unspecified “official of leaders’ cabinet,” who expressed concern and panic, asking: “What should I report to my boss? Is it really a stalemate?”

Recently, Volodymyr Aryev, a lawmaker from the European Solidarity party of former President Petro Poroshenko, claimed on social networks that Defense Minister Rustem Umerov had submitted a request for Gen. Zaluzhny’s dismissal.

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Aryev was citing a “reliable source.” But later he deleted the post, noting that other sources contradicted the information. Russian propagandists, however, quickly picked up on the initial publication and began spreading it in the mass media and social networks.

Umerov denied the allegation of Gen. Zaluzhny’s dismissal: “Some unscrupulous politicians are trying to split Ukrainian society today – this is no better than what Russian propagandists are doing.”

Ruslan Stefanchuk, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, responded to Aryev’s accusation, stating: “It is a shame that some parliamentarians, in pursuit of hype, neglect issues of national security.”

Stefanchuk noted that freedom of speech also entails the responsibility to verify information and “not just gossiping in pursuit of political expediency.” He urged lawmakers to “come to their senses,” emphasizing that the war is ongoing, and elections are still a distant prospect.

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