Ukraine, Ponomarev: “Zaluzhny removal? Fake news orchestrated by the Kremlin”

The news of the possible imminent removal of the commander in chief of the Ukrainian forces Valerii Zaluzhny, also spread by American newspapers such as CNN and the Washington Post, “is fake news spread by the Russians, by the Kremlin”. This is what Ilha Ponomarev, a former Russian deputy who was the only one to vote against the annexation of Crimea to the Federation, believes, having been in exile for years in Ukraine where he obtained citizenship.

In an interview with Adnkronos, the political leader of the ‘Freedom for Russia’ legion, which brings together the ‘partisans’ involved in a series of actions with the aim of ‘liberating’ Moscow, argues his point of view, maintaining that the story of the Russian military plane that crashed in recent days in the Belgorod oblast was “the beginning of this particular operation” of propaganda orchestrated in Moscow with the “deliberate” objective of pushing the Ukrainians to commit “a mistake”.

“We don’t have confirmation that the prisoners were there (on board the plane, ed.), but it doesn’t matter because there are rumors, and for Zelensky the issue of the exchange of prisoners of war is critical, very delicate. Zelensky values ​​life very much of his people, obviously he was angry, and I think that was the beginning of the provocation against the army. But I don’t think there will be any changes.”

Ponomarev does not believe that Zelensky is worried by those polls that indicate Zaluzhny as more popular than the president, while if he were to choose a name as the new commander-in-chief he points to the head of the Ukrainian military intelligence (Gur), Kyrylo Budanov, who is “a man very popular” unlike the commander of the ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi. “But in reality – reiterates the former deputy – none of this matters because I think that at the moment there will simply be no changes”.

Ponomarev admits, however, that there is some tension in Kiev, but not such as to distract from the ultimate objective which is “winning” the war. “In all human relationships, especially those related to politics, there are different people with different opinions, and obviously there are some conflicts, maneuvers within the various teams. Obviously around Zelensky, there are people who are in charge of ensuring the political stability and who keep an eye on all the polls, all the potential competitors and so on – he continues – These are bureaucrats, whose job is to guarantee stability in the way they understand it”.

“Then there are different tasks that people are responsible for. For example, Zaluzhny is responsible for military operations and Zelensky for getting more weapons and getting more international support to enable Zaluzhny and his people to fight. And of course Zelensky and the others Politicians always ask the generals ‘so where are the victories that we can show to our international partners to convince them to provide financial aid’? And similarly the military asks politicians: ‘where are our new weapons and financial aid to get more victories’? It’s normal. It’s not a conflict – concludes Ponomarev – That’s why I wouldn’t speculate on changes. And even if one day Zaluzhny is rotated, which is possible, it’s not the end of the world because in the army there is a capable team”.