US concerned with Zelensky’s split with top General
The US is worried that the rift between Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces, Valery Zaluzhny, is hampering Kiev’s military efforts.
The Biden administration wants Ukraine to “sharpen” its plan for fighting Russia in 2024.
However, Washington is concerned that differences between Zelensky and Zaluzhny are slowing efforts to crystallize a new strategy, the sources said.
According to one of Bloomberg’s interlocutors, the US must clearly understand Kiev’s plans to determine “how it can best align its support to help Ukraine defend itself in the coming year.”
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is likely to raise the issue with Zelensky on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the people said. Earlier this week, WEF president Borge Brende announced that the Ukrainian leader will attend the high-profile event, scheduled to take place between January 15 and 19.
Last month, Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper reported that Zelensky has been giving orders to the military bypassing the commander-in-chief, with Zaluzhny sometimes only learning about what the armed forces are doing from his subordinates. According to the sources, the two have been at loggerheads for months, but Kiev’s failed counteroffensive has worsened the tensions.
In December, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that thwarting Ukraine’s NATO-backed counteroffensive was the main goal achieved by the Russian military in 2023.
Shoigu announced that, according to Moscow’s estimations, Kiev’s losses last year exceeded 215,000 troops and 28,000 units of heavy weaponry.