During almost two years of Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has earned the reputation of being a great communicator.
But in recent days he has been uncharacteristically vague and evasive on issues of major concern both within his beleaguered country and among its Western supporters, thereby raising questions about what is going on behind the scenes in Kyiv.
In the present situation this is both confusing and demoralizing. Indeed, it is setting off alarm bells about the implications.
The President has permitted rumors to abound both at home and abroad about his purported wish to replace the highly respected Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny.
Not only has the Ukrainian leader fueled speculation by failing to clarify his position on this extremely sensitive matter but has now intensified the intrigue by telling the Italian national broadcaster Rai 1 in an interview this weekend that nothing less than the “replacement of a number of senior officials of the state” is required.
President Zelensky elaborated that he was not talking about the need to replace a specific individual, but something “more serious,” of a “new start” involving the replacement the people “who should be heading the country.”
Who, in addition to military commanders, is the president referring to? The Prime Minister? What, or who, is not working properly?
Ukraine’s citizens deserve to know why all of a sudden, in the midst of a horrific war, such a reset is required.
After 10 years of armed conflict with Russia, and 2 years of existential threat, it is critical for Ukraine to maintain morale and the fighting spirit at home and the confidence of its allies and supporters abroad.
President Zelensky has responsibility to ensure that this happens, that any “reset” is properly justified, and consistency does not give way to disarray.
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