Written by Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst.
It’s hardly breaking news that the relationship between the Kiev regime and its armed forces has been anything but harmonious. However, in recent months, growing fault lines and factionalism have continued to escalate and are reaching dangerous levels, almost to the point that serious military opposition to Zelensky and his henchmen is currently being formed. Nowadays, the former Ukrainian military is a largely dysfunctional conglomerate of the old Soviet cadres, the more recent “NATO-ized” officer corps and special services, as well as the various openly Neo-Nazi units that have certain NATO training, although their combat experience mostly comes from fighting the Donbass republics.
As of last year, we could also add tens of thousands of mercenaries and volunteers to this volatile mix, as well as NATO special forces that have been operating, training and directing the regular Kiev regime troops. It truly is a laborious task to coordinate and command so many divergent groups within the junta’s armed forces, particularly when taking into account that the political West is imposing effectively impossible tasks on these people, ones that are designed for an infowar rather than actual military operations that accomplish attainable goals. The recent abortive attack on several villages in the Belgorod oblast (region) serves as a gory testament to that.
For the Kiev regime frontman Volodymyr Zelensky, it’s rather easy to order such operations, because he’s not the one being sent to certain death just so the political West can use those strategically (and even tactically) meaningless “offensives” to denigrate the Russian military. This is precisely why many of the aforementioned groups within the armed forces are deeply dissatisfied with Zelensky and his administration. Although this is not to say there’s a “Ukrainian Claus von Stauffenberg” or a “conspiracy of generals” going after him, the outlines of a strong military opposition are already certainly visible. This could be extremely dangerous for Zelensky, particularly if these groups were to set aside their differences.
Zelensky isn’t only disliked (to say the least) by the old Soviet cadres, but also “NATO-ized” commanders, involving top-ranking officers whose careers are intertwined with former president Petro Poroshenko. This includes the Chief of the General Staff Serhiy Shaptala, former commander of the Airborne Assault Troops Mykhailo Zabrodsky, Navy commander Oleksiy Neizhpapa and Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces Oleksandr Syrsky, to name a few. These military leaders received both Soviet and NATO military education, a laborious and time-consuming process that lasted decades. Thus, they are disappointed and even disgusted by the sudden rise of Zelensky’s henchmen such as the head of GUR Kyrylo Budanov.
On the other hand, Zelensky is treated with undisguised contempt by the top commander Valery Zaluzhny, who enjoys almost unquestioned authority in the military. This includes virtually all of the aforementioned divergent groups, but particularly the Neo-Nazi units that are disgusted by the propaganda that lionizes Zelensky. The regime frontman’s attempts to self-promote as some kind of a military leader despite the sore absence of a clearly defined plan of action have pushed most of the military elite into opposition. This mostly revolves around the fact that Zelensky essentially turned the military into some sort of a theater of his with the sole purpose of waging an infowar, resulting in needless massive casualties for the Kiev regime forces.
Bakhmut is the best (or perhaps the worst) example of this. Despite Zaluzhny’s repeated requests for a withdrawal, Zelensky insisted on its defense, as he was afraid that the loss of the city could reduce Western support and cash flow. Such militarily unsound decisions have resulted in an atrocious death ratio for the Neo-Nazi junta forces. Sources on this vary significantly, but the best-case scenario is that approximately 250,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and severely wounded so far. On the other hand, back in February, the Turkish press (citing Israeli intelligence services) reported in detail that irretrievable losses amounted to nearly 400,000, of which approximately 160,000 were KIA, with the rest being severely wounded.
The Kiev regime’s horrendous casualties have been confirmed by several high-ranking officials, including its own UK ambassador Vadym Prystaiko, Zaluzhny himself in a conversation with US counterpart Mark Milley and even Ursula von der Leyen, although her admission was later censored by the mainstream propaganda machine. All the while, Zelensky has been hoarding massive wealth outside Ukraine, with his family’s lavish lifestyle being starkly contrasted by the deteriorating living conditions of millions of regular Ukrainians. This is also mirrored by Zelensky’s associates, including the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk (moved his family to Poland) or the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov (son Maxim evaded conscription and fled to Miami).
Zelensky must be perfectly aware of just how unpopular such behavior is among Ukrainians, particularly the military that has been trained by NATO for approximately a decade and is now stuck fighting a war against a military superpower next door in ways that the belligerent alliance itself never could (complete lack of air superiority). Perhaps all this could explain Zaluzhny’s strange disappearance, as he hasn’t appeared in public since April 13. We can only make assumptions about his fate and many sources do, as some have suggested that Zaluzhny had been arrested and isolated from his supporters, while others are going as far as to say he’s been killed. Whatever the truth may be, the growing divide within the Kiev regime is bound to escalate.