The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (UMoD) denied information circulating within Ukrainian media that the ministry was considering the simultaneous firing of three commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).
UMoD insisted that the information which had appeared on several mass media outlets “does not correspond to reality” and urged everyone to observe what it termed “informational hygiene.”
“In response to all media inquiries: the Ministry of Defense does not comment on rumors or unverified information. Everyone is working as usual, and decisions are discussed in coordination with the General Staff,” UMoD declared on Facebook on Monday.
This announcement followed the publication by “Ukrainska Pravda,” of a report that the ministry was considering the possibility of dismissing the commander of the United Forces of the AFU, Serhii Nayev, the commander of the Operational and Strategic Group of the 'Tavria' troops, Oleksandr Tarnavsky, and the commander of the Medical Forces of the AFU, Tetyana Ostashchenko.
Sources cited by the publication claimed that the relevant submission was being prepared by Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, stressing that the issue of forced resignations had been under consideration for several months.
Volodymyr Zelensky's press secretary told journalists that if such a decision was made, it would be announced on the president's official website.
In addition, former member of the Verkhovna Rada, Boryslav Bereza, citing his own sources, claimed that Nayev may not only be removed from his post but also charged.
“Evil tongues from the DBR (State Investigative Bureau) told me that there are plans to hand over suspicion to Lieutenant General Nayev, the same Nayev who is currently in command of Ukraine’s defenses from the direction of Belarus,” the ex-people's deputy said via his YouTube video.
Bereza also spoke about further personnel changes that may happen in the Armed Forces: “The same evil tongues say that Nayev is only a first name, and then there will be General Solovyov, and then, I think that this is a lie - General Zaluzhny.”
In addition, Ukrainian blogger and journalist Maryna Danylyuk-Yarmolayeva, citing “informed and official” sources, wrote that the President's Office aims to dismiss Nayev from his post, declare him a suspect, and subsequently “detain him in a pretrial detention center through a manipulated trial.”
According to her, they appear to want to implicate Nayev in the rapid Russian takeover of the south of Ukraine and Mariupol. The former member of the Ukrainian parliament, Bereza, expressed the same assumption regarding the subject of suspicion.
The journalist stated that the President's Office intends to exert pressure on the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Valery Zaluzhny.
“Why did they choose Nayev for this scenario? He is a high-ranking officer and a long-time colleague and friend of Zaluzhny,” Danylyuk-Yarmolaeva added.
“Therefore, the authorities decided to systematically target members of the General Staff, one by one, and replace them with more compliant individuals. The idea is ambitious; let's see if they will implement it in practice.”
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