The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valery Zaluzhny, said on Tuesday that he was not satisfied with the operation of recruitment points responsible for military mobilization. He also referred to his conflict with President Volodymyr Zelensky. “I received a lot of criticism, but over time people realized that I was absolutely right,” he said.
Załużny appeared at a press conference for the first time since the outbreak of the war. The day before on the parliament’s website Ukraine A draft law on mobilization appeared, providing for lowering the lower age limit for persons subject to this obligation from 27 to 25 years.
READ MORE: Zelensky: the army asked to mobilize half a million people into the army “The publication of the draft bill sparked controversy on social media, which apparently prompted the usually shy general to make a rare attempt to contact the media,” comments Reuters.
– I am not satisfied with the work of the collection points – says Załużny.
The head of the Ukrainian army: we have set ourselves quite ambitious goals for 2023
The proposed changes – writes Reuters – raise a lot of emotions due to the fatigue of Ukrainian society with the war that has been going on for 22 months. Last week the president Volodymyr Zelensky he said that the army proposed to mobilize an additional 450-500 thousand people into the army.
The debtor confirmed this number, but added that he would never reveal it publicly. In Reuters’ opinion, this may suggest some political friction between him and President Zelensky. The agency recalls that Załużny oversaw the Ukrainian counteroffensive carried out in 2023, which resulted in the failure to regain a large part of the territory occupied by Russia.
Nevertheless, the head of the Ukrainian army is still very popular among Ukrainians after he drove Russian forces out of the Ukrainian capital in early 2022, and in the fall he organized two successful counteroffensives, which resulted in the recapture of large areas of the country from the enemy.
– We have set ourselves quite ambitious goals for 2023 – he said at a press conference in Kiev on Tuesday. He added that he was not disappointed by the level of foreign aid in the past year. – Of course, it was not complete, but it allowed us to confidently conduct military operations – he said.
Załużny’s conflict with Zelensky
Tensions between Zaluzhny and Zelensky erupted in November after the general was quoted as saying that the war was heading towards a stalemate due to the technological state of affairs on the battlefield, which was criticized by the president. Zelensky and his allies have consistently painted a less bleak picture of the war, stating that Ukraine can and will push Russian forces out of every inch of occupied territory, Reuters reminds.
Załużny said that time had verified his words. “I received a lot of criticism, but over time people realized that I was absolutely right,” he said. He added that Ukraine and its allies have already found answers to most of the questions and problems he raised in his November statements about the situation on the front.
Referring to the work on the bill on mobilization, he announced that he would support the introduction of electronic calls for military service, which would replace or strengthen the current model in which conscription officers hand out documents to people on the street or at checkpoints.
Draft bill on mobilization
The draft law on mobilization, published late on Monday evening on the website of the Parliament of Ukraine, provides for lowering the lower age limit for persons subject to this obligation from 27 to 25 years.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, at a press conference on December 19 summarizing the past year, stated that the army proposes to mobilize an additional 450-500 thousand people. He noted, however, that “this is a very delicate matter” and that representatives of the army and government will discuss it further before the project is submitted to parliament.
Zelensky added that he wants to hear more arguments for mobilizing additional citizens. – The army must find solutions to its problems, and society wants to hear answers to important questions – he emphasized.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/OLEG PETRASYUK