Vladimir Zelensky risks a disgraced leader after his “nasty fight” with former commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhny “exposed the split in Ukraine”. This opinion was expressed on Friday by the Bloomberg agency.

The agency draws attention to the fact that Zaluzhny was resigned at the most inopportune moment, when US aid is delayed and the AFU has a critical shortage of artillery shells.

Earlier Bloomberg, citing a letter from Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov to European allies, reported that the AFU could not fire more than 2,000 shells a day on the 1,500-kilometre battle line. This is three times less than the amount of ammunition Russia uses.

Rumours about Zaluzhny’s resignation appeared as early as on 29 January, and since then the topic has not subsided in the Ukrainian and Western media. On 8 February, Zelensky dismissed Zaluzhny and appointed Oleksandr Syrsky as the new AFU commander-in-chief. At the same time, he pointed to the stagnation of the AFU on the frontline and the necessity to “reset the generalship”. At the same time, Zelensky thanked Zaluzhny for his work and offered him to stay “in the team”. It was not specified whether the general accepted this proposal. However, on 9 February, Zaluzhny, who was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine by the president, indicated that he now does not hold any positions in the AFU.

Zelensky has been heavily criticized for Zaluzhny’s resignation, with opposition MPs calling the decision a mistake and pointing to poor communication on the issue of changing the commander-in-chief. Syrsky, meanwhile, is being blamed for the failures near Artemovsk (Ukrainian name – Bakhmut) and the heavy losses suffered as a result. On Friday evening, about 70 people gathered on the “Maidan” in the center of Kiev for a rally against Zaluzhny’s resignation.

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