by Simplicus the Thinker at Simplicus the Thinker Substack
It finally happened, Zelensky has let Zaluzhny go, replacing him with Syrsky:
video cannot be embedded
Defense Minister Umerov issued his own statement:
There’s a lot to unpack. Let’s start with the mentions in the video above of needing a general who is on the frontline, and who understands the Avdeevka situation, as well as others, deeply. This appears to be a riff on the stereotype that Zelensky/Yermak and their team were trying to seed the ground with, characterizing Zaluzhny as someone who ‘never leaves his office’. These are just small, subtle threads in the narrative fabric they attempted to weave together to undermine Zaluzhny. In reality, there’s no real evidence that Zaluzhny behaved in the way they accuse him of.
Following this news, a meltdown of epic proportions has ensued in the Ukrainian commentariat—the top names and influencers are not taking this news well:
WaPo, Der Spiegel, and Telegraph reporter:…
Ukraine SitRep: A Hated New Commander – Critical Lack Of Infantry
The Ukrainian President Zelenski has fired the commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces General Zaluzny.
Zaluzny was replaced by General Syrski, a somewhat unexpected choice as Syrski is hated by the troops for pushing them into meat grinders without a perspective of winning. Syrski, who was born as a Russian, had lost the cauldron battles of Debaltsevo (2015), Soledar (2023) and Bakhmut (2023). Currently Avdeevka is in a cauldron and likely to fall.
Rumors say that Syrski already ordered reserves to reinforce the troops in Avdeevka. Russian FAB bombs will welcome them.
The Economist describes Syrski as thus:
General Syrsky has a reputation for being willing to engage the enemy, even if the cost in men and machines is high. He is a divisive figure who provokes strong reactions from serving officers. Some praise his professionalism, others say he terrifies his subordinates and rules by fear. He is less likely to question the priorities of his president. As he takes on the top job, he will have to soften his style of command and learn to speak truth to power.The reorganisation will also cause disruption as officers shift to new positions in the chain of command. It is important that these changes do not degrade Ukraine’s capacity to fight. Before long, the country will need a new mobilisation even if General Syrsky uses his troops mostly for defence—as, for now, he should.
Simplicius discusses the most plausible reason why Zalauzny got fired and Syrski promoted:
Ask yourself, why would Zelensky appoint a commander that the entire armed forces allegedly hates?In fact, this is a ‘design feature’ not a bug.
Recall that the reason Zaluzhny was given the boot was he had become too powerful: he was too loved by the troops, and by the people. Why? One of the reasons is likely because he fought for the troops multiple times. In early 2023, documents were leaked showing that he nearly begged Zelensky to pull troops back from Bakhmut, but the narco-Fuhrer refused, wanting it as a symbolic city defense—perhaps taken with romantic delusions of Stalingrad.
During the grand summer ‘counteroffensive’, Zaluzhny pulled the brigades of the 10th Army Corps back and began to use them sparingly—much to the chagrin and disapproval of US sponsors—after the initial first few wipes devastated columns of Leopards and Bradleys along the infamous road of death near Rabotino and Mala Tokmachka.
Recently it was claimed Zaluzhny likewise attempted to get Avdeevka totally withdrawn. It does not seem that he likes to waste men for what he knows to be fruitless efforts. Syrsky on the other hand appears glad to grind them down.
So, has it become obvious yet? Zelensky needs a commander-in-chief he can control, someone not universally loved by the troops; someone who cannot use those troops at a time of opportunity to ‘march on Kiev’ and oust Zelensky from his citadel. Syrsky appears to fit the perfect prototypical role: undefiant, unpopular, uncharismatic, and most importantly, untempted by political ambitions—the ideal subserviant factotum to Zelensky’s regime.
There is no word yet what Zaluzny is going to do. He has the respect of the troops and good relations with the ‘nationalists’, i.e. the Nazi fringe militia of Ukraine. He also has the support of some politicians opposed to Zelenski.
A coup is thereby a possible outcome of this change.
Yesterday a Washington Post article, sources from interviews at the Ukrainian front, describes the utter shamble the Ukrainian forces are in:…Continue Reading