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Decision made? Who's considered to replace Zaluzhnyi, and will generals agree

Decision made? Who's considered to replace Zaluzhnyi, and will generals agree Oleksandr Syrskii and Kyrylo Budanov (collage by RBC-Ukraine)

In the case of the dismissal of the commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, two candidates are being considered for his position. These are the chief of intelligence Kyrylo Budanov and the commander of the Army of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskii.

This is discussed in the material by RBC-Ukraine Between two fires. Will Zelenskyy fire Zaluzhnyi, and what lies behind the conflict.

Both Budanov and Syrskii are lieutenant generals, known in Ukraine and abroad as well. They are described as fairly tough military figures and both do not have particularly good relations with Zaluzhnyi.

According to the information available, one version explaining why Valerii Zaluzhnyi has not been dismissed from the position of commander-in-chief is that they could not resolve the issue of his successor. However, two generals are still under consideration for the role of Zaluzhnyi's potential successor.


Both Budanov and Syrskii's surroundings say that they did not aspire to the new position. However, a source close to intelligence suggested that "if Budanov were offered such a proposal, as a military man, he has no right to refuse it."

Another interlocutor close to the chief of intelligence confirmed that he was indeed offered the position.


As for Syrskii, opinions about his ambitions differ. Acquaintances claim that positions have much less weight than military successes and victories for him.

He likes being in the field, conducting and managing operations; he lives for it. Besides, he is a wise person and understands that whoever takes the position of the head will inevitably be compared to the predecessor. And this comparison, one way or another, will not be in favor of the new head," considers one of the interlocutors in military circles.

On the contrary, others believe that Syrsky would not mind getting a promotion and, in fact, has long wanted to take on the role of the Commander-in-Chief, like several other generals.

Why Zaluzhnyi has not been dismissed yet

There is a version that the Presidential Office supposedly still has not decided on the candidate for the new chief of the General Staff. The search for successors is a chronic problem of those in power currently. Sometimes, due to this, personnel rotations even at the ministerial level are delayed for months, or even years – and people with whom it was decided to part ways continue to stay in their positions.

However, one influential interlocutor in military circles suggested that the Presidential Office could postpone Zaluzhnyi's dismissal until spring. On the one hand, this will allow the Office to monitor public reaction. On the other hand, it will serve as a vaccination for the population, making people think that Zaluzhnyi's dismissal is possible. And if the Office really dares to dismiss the general, in a month or two, then the public's reaction will be less painful than if they did it right now.