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IPFS News Link • Ukraine

The President vs. The General

•, By Seymour Hersh

Zaluzhny has said nothing in public, but his spokesman has denied that his boss was fired.

The ongoing drama between the pair has caused consternation for many in Washington, since Zaluzhny said last fall in an interview with the Economist that the war against Russia was in stalemate. He had not shared his dour message in advance with Zelensky, though it was known to a few in Washington.

Some at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community welcomed Zaluzhny's assessment as the beginning of an inevitable peace process. I reported in December that Zaluzhny had been in secret discussions with his Russian counterpart, General Valery Gerasimov, on the many complicated issues that needed to be resolved if the war came to an end. Gerasimov was keeping his boss in Moscow, Vladimir Putin, informed; Zaluzhny was not doing the same in Kyiv.

One immediate issue was re-establishing prisoner exchanges, which had initially been implemented with the help of Turkey, on a limited basis early in the war but soon dwindled. That such exchanges had been reestablished in negotiations between the two involved armies became an issue last week when the Ukrainian military shot down a Russian military transport plane now believed to have been involved in prisoner repatriation.

There is no evidence that Zelensky knew that sixty-five of his fellow Ukrainians, all captured by the Russian Army, were on board the plane, but he certainly knew, I was told by a knowledgeable American official, that the prisoner exchanges had been going on for many weeks.

The incident was difficult for even the best of America's newspapers to assess. The New York Times noted that if Ukraine "did shoot down a Russian plane with its own soldiers aboard, even unwittingly, it would be a painful setback at a difficult time for its war effort, which is severely challenged by ammunition and personnel shortage and fears that Western support is eroding."

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by NakedSheriff
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I had heard ok NPR that Zaluzhny was expected to be the opposition nominee against Zelensky this year until Zelenski canceled the elections because of Marshall law