Zelensky warns Ukraine generals that getting involved in politics puts country’s unity at risk

Zelensky warns Ukraine generals that getting involved in politics puts country’s unity at risk

UKRAINE’S President Zelensky warned generals that getting involved in politics put national unity at risk.

The warning followed a spat with Commander-in-Chief General Valeriy Zaluzhny who said the war with Russia was at a stalemate and that a breakthrough was unlikely.

AFPPresident Zelensky warned his generals to stay out of politics amid a row with Gen Zaluzhny[/caption]

Zelensky, 45, rebuked Gen Zaluzhny, 50, for his claims.

When The Sun asked Mr Zelensky about relations with his commanders, the president said generals who entered politics made a mistake.

He also warned top brass risked being disobeyed by their soldiers if they became political.

Zelensky spoke of the Ukrainian commanders who went into politics after 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea.

He said: “Various political forces are pushing the military into politics.

“It was after 2014, when each political party wanted some military men, stars of the war, and I believe that was a very big mistake.

“They were pushed to politics because they were all destroyed, reputation etc.”

Gen Zaluzhny’s supporters stencilled his portrait in liberated cities last year.

He was widely credited with masterminding Ukraine’s resistance. And Zaluzhny is rumoured to be a potential rival to Zelensky if he decides to become a politician.

In a thinly veiled message to commanders, Zelensky said: “If a military man decided to do politics, it is his right, then he should enter politics and then he can’t deal with war.

“If you manage war keeping in mind that tomorrow you will do politics or elections, then in your words and on the front line you behave as a politician and not as a military man, and I think that is a huge mistake.”

Zelensky also warned that soap-box soldiers risked insubordination which would threaten Ukraine’s unity.

He added: “With all the respect to Gen Zaluzhny and to all the commanders who are on the battlefield, there is an absolute understanding of the hierarchy and that is it, and there can’t be two, three, four, five.

“It is one, in accordance with the law and in times of war this can’t even be discussed. That does not lead to the unity of the nation.”

Gen Zaluzhny told The Economist that the front lines were reaching a World War One-style stalemate because both sides had similar technology.

He claimed breaking the deadlock would require drones and better electronic warfare to detect incoming rockets.

He said: “There will most likely be no breakthrough.”

Zelensky responded: “In the morale, there is no stalemate.

“We are at our home. Russians are on our land. Therefore there is no stalemate.

“In regards to the sky, there is no stalemate. Russians have more power in that.”

Zelensky went on to sack one of Gen Zaluzhny’s deputies in charge of special forces.

Dan CharityThe Ukrainian President spoke to The Sun’s Jerome Starkey inside his heavily fortified Kyiv headquarters[/caption]


Zelensky with News Corp & Fox Corp team

By Jerome Starkey

PRESIDENT Zelensky thanked reporters for their bravery after inviting Lachlan Murdoch, the Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corp and the Chairman of News Corp, to visit Ukraine.

Mr Murdoch took with him a journalist from each company — Benjamin Hall of Fox News and Jerome Starkey, Defence Editor of The Sun.

In a press release Mr Zelensky “thanked the representatives of the media group for comprehensive coverage of Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression and for telling about Russian atrocities despite the risks to themselves”.

Last March, a group of Fox News journalists came under Russian fire in Horenka, outside Kyiv. Cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian fixer Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed.

Brit Benjamin Hall was severely wounded, losing part of a leg on one side and a foot on the other, and also has limited function of a hand and one eye.

President Zelensky awarded him the Order of Merit, III class, for his “outstanding personal contribution to strengthening interstate co-operation, ­support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity”.

It was his first visit to Ukraine since he was catastrophically injured.

The President thanked Mr Murdoch for his visit and “emphasised that it is a very important signal of support at the time when the world’s attention is blurred by other events”.

Jerome, The Sun’s award-winning Defence Editor, has reported from the Ukraine front line since the war started.

Mr Zelensky said: “All this time, ­journalists, cameramen, editors, photographers, drivers have been on the front line.

“It is thanks to journalists from many countries that we now have such support in the world.”

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