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Zaluzhny reports about situation around Avdeyevka to Zelensky

The general headquarters meeting came amid rampant media speculation that Zaluzhny could be dismissed today

MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny has reported to President Vladimir Zelensky about the situation in the combat operation zone, in particular around Avdeyevka.

The general headquarters meeting came amid rampant media speculation that Zaluzhny could be dismissed today.

"[We discussed] the situation on the frontline. All key areas. The most difficult situation is in Avdeyevka. Reports came from Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny and other commanders," Zelensky wrote on his Telegram channel after the meeting

Among those who reported to the president was commander of Ukraine’s land troops Alexander Syrsky, who is said to be Zaluzhny’s possible successor.

In the course of the conflict in Donbass, Ukrainian forces have turned Avdeyevka into one of their major strongholds but in late December 2023 Zaluzhny said that the Ukrainian army could withdraw from Avdeyevka in two or three months.

Zelensky also said that the topics that were discussed during the meeting included building up fortifications. Earlier, Ukrainian lawmakers called for building three lines of defense as soon as possible. On January 19, the country’s government allocated a record-breaking sum to finance the construction of fortification structures. Other topics, according to Zelensky, included the production of drones, supplies of munitions, and energy problems.

Typically, meetings of the general headquarters are not announced beforehand. However, on Thursday, Ukrainian Telegram channels circulated information that the next general headquarters meeting would look at Zaluzhny’s dismissal. CNN also anticipated that Zelensky would sign a decree dismissing the commander-in-chief by the end of this week.

Situation around Zaluzhny

On Monday, Borislav Bereza, a former member of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament), said that Zaluzhny had been dismissed as the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed force but Ukraine’s foreign partners strongly objected to this move. Lawmaker Alexey Goncharenko (put on Russia’s list of terrorists and extremists), in turn, said that Zaluzhny was informed about his dismissal but no official decree had been issued as of yet. Later, Ukrainian presidential spokesman Sergey Nikiforov said that Zelensky had not dismissed Zaluzhny.

However, speculation about Zaluzhny’s future continues to swirl in the Ukrainian media and on social networks. On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported, citing high-ranking sources in Kiev, that Zaluzhny would stay in office for a while but a decision on his dismissal had already been made.

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov noted that there are a lot of questions about the reports on Zaluzhny’s dismissal but it is obvious that "things are not going well" for the Kiev regime. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova asserted that the situation around Zaluzhny vividly reflected that Ukraine's statehood was in shambles.