Presidency warns against speculation amid MP's accusations directed at General Zaluzhnyi
Valerii Zaluzhnyi (Photo: OP)

The adviser to the head of the President's Office, Mykhailo Podolyak, reacted to the criticism of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, from the Servant of the People MP Maryana Bezuhla, and urged her "not to play in speculation," he told

In recent days, Bezuhla, who holds the post of deputy chair of the Verkhovna Rada's committee on national security, has declared that the leadership of the Armed Forces "must go." She claims that Zaluzhnyi "failed to give a vision plan for 2024." She also constantly blames the general for problems at the front and in the Defense Forces.

According to Podolyak, the chief of the Armed Forces is the vertical of the president and the presidency provides only official positions.

"In my opinion, there is no need to play speculation today, given the time and the psycho-emotional state of society, significantly increasing the scope of one or another personal position with your comments," said Zelenskyy's aide in response to a request to comment on Bezuhla's statement.

He noted that for him there is no discussion about the "conflict" between Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi.

"Everything else is left to communities that only like conspiracy theories, regardless of what time we are in," Podolyak concluded.

After Bezuhla's criticism of Zaluzhnyi, another member of the defense committee of the Verkhovna Rada, Roman Kostenko, said that it should be perceived as an attempt to discredit the general. After The Economist magazine wrote about the "terrible" relationship between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi, Podolyak said that this is not true, and that the conflict between the president and the top military officer is "generally ruled out" because they are responsible for different things. Verkhovna Rada Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk also stated that there is no "conflict" between Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi. According to him, this is "Russian propaganda".

Since the beginning of the large-scale invasion, the Russians have been using the narrative about the alleged conflict between the political and military leadership of Ukraine. Sometimes this disinformation is replicated by internal forces in Ukraine.

On November 7, 2023, MP Volodymyr Aryev stated that the Minister of Defense submitted a request for the dismissal of the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, but later deleted this message and published a refutation. Russian propaganda and some Ukrainian outlets managed to spread his message.

Fake footage appeared on the Internet, doctoring the voice and video of Zaluzhnyi. In it, the Russians renewed claims of rifts between the commander-in-chief and the president.