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30 Oct, 2023 22:12

Aides believe Zelensky is ‘delusional’ – Time

The Ukrainian leader is now reportedly looking for scapegoats after his failed counteroffensive, the magazine reports
Aides believe Zelensky is ‘delusional’ – Time

Top officials in Kiev believe that the increasingly “messianic” President Vladimir Zelensky has become delusional, Time magazine reported on Monday.

The Western-backed leader is expected to launch a “major shake-up” of the country’s military and political leadership, the US publication added, citing his aides.

The looming reshuffle is intended to demonstrate “accountability” for the lack of progress in the stalled counteroffensive against Russia, as well as deal with the apparently growing opposition to Zelensky’s desire to continue the hostilities no matter what.

Zelensky remains adamant in his desire to ‘defeat’ Russia on the battlefield, but his “stubbornness” has become borderline “messianic,” one of the president’s advisers said, on condition of anonymity. “He deludes himself. We’re out of options. We’re not winning. But try telling him that.”

The reality on the ground, however, is very different from Zelensky’s vision of scoring an ultimate victory over Moscow, and dissent is apparently growing. According to one of his aides, “some front-line commanders … have begun refusing orders to advance, even when they came directly from the office of the president.”

“They [the military] just want to sit in the trenches and hold the line. But we can’t win a war that way,” the aide said, admitting the troops were not actually “moving forward.”

In addition, the country is not very well-prepared for the upcoming winter, the aides suggested, adding that pinning failing infrastructure and other hardships exclusively on Russia might not work this time.

“Last year, people blamed the Russians,” one of them said. “This time, they’ll blame us for not doing enough to prepare.”

To fix the situation, Zelensky is expected to launch a major reshuffle of his team shortly, with the “shake-up” affecting both military and civilian leadership. “At least one minister would need to be fired, along with a senior general in charge of the counteroffensive,” the article suggested, citing the aides, who did not provide the exact names of the potential scapegoats. The move is primarily meant to create “accountability” for the lack of progress on the frontline, they said.

Kiev launched its counteroffensive against Russian forces in early June, but it has so far neglected to achieve any tangible results. In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the counteroffensive had effectively failed, resulting in minor gains and heavy losses for the Ukrainian military. According to Moscow’s estimates, the push cost Kiev more than 90,000 troops, as well as hundreds of military hardware, including assorted Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles.

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