«Writing off» Zelensky – Yermak in first row, Zaluzhnyi in waiting

11:02 24.06.2024 • Denis Baturin , political scientist

On June 20 the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service published a report evaluating the situation in Ukraine: «The press bureau of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service reports that, according to in-coming information, Washington and its satellites are satisfied with the developments following May 20 which make the legitimacy of V.Zelensky fully dependent on western support. The Ukrainian “president” has completely lost his independence, is “on a short lead” in the hands of Washington supervisors and will be unable to shun responsibility for unleashing a “full-scale war” in Europe. His western bosses will easily give up on him after Russia has cemented its victory on the battlefield and the worn-out and demoralized Ukrainian troops have found themselves in a deadlock.

Having exhausted the so-called “usefulness” of Zelensky and after realizing the futility of hopes of “strategic defeat of Russia”, the White House will without thinking throw him into the dustbin of history, replacing him with a Ukrainian politician who will be suitable for conducting talks on peace settlement with Moscow. Washington’s choice has fallen on former Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine V.Zaluzhnyi»[i].

In a word, the West is getting ready to “write off” Zelensky. We should bear in mind that Foreign Intelligence Service is a special service which operates not only through agents but also with the help of technical devices and in the information space.

«Writing off» Zelensky is only the first step. For his replacement, there should be the person and the procedure. There should be the person and the procedure of endowing him with presidential power. The procedure is available, and the presidential power, under the current Constitution of Ukraine, should, as of May 21 this year, go to Speaker of Ukrainian parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk. In a word, although there is a direct way towards legitimization and personality, and towards observance of constitutional procedures, it looks like no one is going to follow it. If Stefanchuk is not a good choice, then there is the possibility of legitimizing another person, practically any, if there is no intention to hold presidential elections in Ukrraine. Any of the parliamentary deputies can be elected to occupy the post of Stefanchuk. If, in the opinion of the puppeteers, none of the 424 people’s deputies is entitled or acceptable to become president, there is still a way out – someone absolutely superfluous in parliament, a majority deputy, could lay down powers, so that elections could be held in his constituency to elect the needed politician, who will then be elected parliamentary speaker, acting as president of Ukraine. This is what has been suggested to the West by the well-wishers many times.

However, what we observe for now is that in a collective photo that captured the participants in the Swiss summit the head of the Ukrainian presidential office Andrei Yermak is in the first row, next to Zelensky, blocking US Vice-President Kamala Harris in the second row.

What Zelensky does not understand, or maybe, he does understand everything but has no alternative, is that ex-Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi is now far away, whereas the head of the presidential office Andrei Yermak is on hand. Earlier, office head Yermak removed the political competitors for President Zelensky. Now, being in charge of the office of illegitimate Zelensky, he understands that he has completed his mission nearly to the end. Only two are left – Zelensky, who is illegitimate, and Zaluzhnyi, who, according to rumours, has not left for London. The latter fact is particularly interesting, as it seemed quite recently that Zelensky was exiling Zaluzhnyi to London, while the West was to preserve, instruct and train Zaluzhnyi in London. However, as it turned out, he will be preserved and mothballed in Ukraine. This means that he follows a particular scenario and should remain in place. These are the contours of new competition, where Zelensky is the man who sits on the chair, the embodiment of “Russia’s defeat on the battlefield”, but this is already in the past. The new competition is the battle between Yermak and Zaluznyi for “Ukrohetmanship”. Their puppeteers are thinking, possibly negotiating, or may have agreed, so what is left is to set the time for Zelensky'’ removal. They will then try to satisfy the Ukrainian society with pseudo-elections, to demonstrate to the civilized world “the democratic handover of power” in Ukraine.

For Yermak, this does not yet mean that he is Zaluzhnyi’s competitor. The history of Ukraine does not know a single case when the head of the presidential administration, as this position was known before, became president, though the post was occupied by fairly influential politicians, including Vladimir Litvin, who climbed as high as to occupy the post of speaker of Ukrainian parliament. The head of the presidential administration is undoubtedly a figure of influence, but only while performing their duties in this capacity and exercising the relevant powers. But the position and the powers, apart from influence, create a circle of ill-wishers and political foes, which puts restrictions on political opportunities and career in the future. That’s why Yermak can act as head of state only de facto in the current situation, not de jure. And only in his current post. There is no other variant. If the elections take place and Zaluzhnyi is elected president, Yermak’s chances to become head of administration under the former armed forces commander are zero. Yermak will thus be able to accumulate certain power only under illegitimate Zelensky.

Back to Zaluzhnyi. According to Ukrainian political scientist Ruslan Bortnik, some forces stake on Valerii Zaluzhnyi, viewing him as candidate for presidency, while the presence of the ex-commander of the Armed Forces in Ukraine is attributed to the fact that the West is using him as an instrument of influence on Zelensky: «The impression is that Zaluzhnyi is in no hurry to leave the country and resorts to different excuses to remain on the territory of Ukraine, waiting for something. I won’t believe that [Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry] Kuleba, or the president, did not want to send Zaluzhnyi [to London] at a far earlier date. Even though Zaluzhnyi is wanted to be seen in London, there could be grounds to believe that London has other plans for him. We cannot rule out the fact that <...> keeping Zaluzhnyi inside the country is a possible instrument of pressure on Zelensky amid behind-the-scenes hard-going talks on the cessation of the war or at least, on a truce. If it is not you, it could be done by others».[ii]

The question is how Zaluzhnyi can become president, head of state. The answer is evident – elections or coup. The elections are constitutional and legitimate. But elections mean a certain time spell, organizational resources, and the need to coordinate interests. It is quite possible to mount a pool of politicians and oligarchs for Zaluzhnyi, Washington and London can quickly explain to particularly influential representatives of Ukrainian political establishment how they should act and who they should support. A coup is faster, brighter, more reliable in terms of yielding the desired result, a putsch is useful for sorting out those representatives of the political spectrum who are no longer needed, even if in a fairly radical way. Each of the options has certain pluses, but against the backdrop of certain minuses.

The Ukrainian society may welcome a coup with relief, the more so if in the course of it the authorities organize a public punishment or even execution of the most fierce proponents of war and Zelensky regime, such as representatives of the Territorial Mobilization Center, along with the one who set it up and endowed it with powers – this figure will be tracked, for members of this organization cannot act all by themselves, this so-called “mobilization into graveyard” system must have a leader. There will then be public processes against those who made money on the war, as the new regime will need to clear the territory of those unwanted and intercept the flows, on the one hand, and on the other hand, demonstrate the fight against corruption, of which the western press has been talking ever more frequently of late.

Ukrainian political scientist Konstantin Bondarenko has this to say to describe the social and political trends and the condition of the Ukrainian society: «By extending his duties, he [Zelensky – D.B.] thought about how to remain legitimate not just in the eyes of his fellow citizens, but mostly in the eyes of the West. Yes, from the viewpoints of the USA, the European Union, Britain, he continues to be head of state. From the point of view of his fellow citizens he defied the Constitution. But since we live in the country of the silent majority, he will not hear condemnation. (…) Most of those who voted for him in 2019 have become indifferent. He is deceived that his ratings are still high. (…) He is deceived that his daily speeches are listened to with eagerness. And it suits him. The most important thing is that from time to time he should be visited by collective Annalena Baerbock (the primary goal of her visit was to demonstrate that Germany deems Zelensky legitimate).

Meanwhile, the circle of those he can rely on has become considerably smaller. Zelensky has become the embodiment of the “party of war”. He has become hostage to those who made career and money on the war, those who returned to their resourceful condition after the war. His power hinges upon those close to the government (officials, their families, relatives, closed ones). (…) Being in secret opposition to Zelensky are hundreds of thousands, millions of those who fear a knock on the door with a call-up or death notice. And the families of those forced to go to the war. And also – the bulk of representatives of local self-government, with whom the presidential office has been struggling so ardently. And supporters of political parties, which are dissatisfied with the absence of political competition».[iii]
While the West needs full control of Ukraine, Zelensky and his circle are trying to maintain their grip on the situation by not acting on all the commands from London and Washington. Zelensky and his supporters find it possible to do so as they are fully aware of the fact that they have time until the elections in the USA and that the West fears yet a greater destabilization in Ukraine if the change of power occurs in the course of military operations.

We need to bear in mind that a removal of Zelensky will mark yet another attempt by the West to deceive Russia. Not only is he unsuitable for negotiations because of his political past and bloody present, but he is also illegitimate. His removal, as it appears, will sort out the problem of legitimacy and negotiating ability of the future candidate. However, with the arrival of a new head of state Ukraine will not cease to be a country under the control of the West, the West needs control of Kyiv for the sole purpose of confrontation with Russia with the preservation of an anti-Russian state by its borders. At least, this is what it looks like now. For this reason, removal of Zelensky will not solve the problem. So the Special Military Operation and its agenda should maintain priority for the future.


The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the Editorial


[i] http://svr.gov.ru/smi/2024/06/zapad-gotovitsya-spisat-zelenskogo.htm

[ii] https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/21066769

[iii] https://t.me/kost1969/367


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