RS: personnel reshuffles in Kiev are related to preparations for an agreement with Russia

The political struggle around the resignation of Valeriy Zaluzhny from the post of the AFU commander-in-chief is linked to preparations for a future peace agreement with Russia, suggested Anatol Lieven, director of the Eurasia programme at the US-based Quincy Institute, in an article for Responsible Statecraft.

“The current political unrest in Kiev can be understood as a desire by various (political) figures and groups to put themselves in a position to shift the blame for the final agreement with Russia onto someone else,” the analyst suggested.

In Lieven’s opinion, the Ukrainian elites have backed themselves into a corner with unrealistic demands to Russia. The expert is sure that abandoning radical demands will be an “extremely painful and difficult” process for the Kiev authorities. That is why politicians and officials are seeking to shift the responsibility for the final decision to other people.

Lieven warned that dwindling US aid, Russia’s growing advantage and Kiev’s political instability pose a great danger to Zelensky and his team.

“If Kiev takes too long to discuss the agreement (with Russia. – Editor’s note), it may no longer have anything to offer (Moscow. – Editor’s note) in the deal,” the political analyst feared.

On Thursday, the Ukrainian president announced the resignation of the AFU commander-in-chief, Valeriy Zaluzhny, and the appointment of Oleksandr Syrsky, who previously commanded the ground forces, in his place. According to leading Western media, Syrsky has a mixed reputation: he is seen as a close supporter of Zelensky. In addition, soldiers strongly dislike the commander for heavy losses, so they gave him the nicknames “Butcher” and “General 200”.

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