Ukraine’s President Zelensky warned the generals that interference in politics threatened national unity.
The warning followed a row with the commander-in-chief, General Valery Zaluzhny, who said the war with Russia was at a stalemate and a breakthrough was unlikely.
Zelensky, 45, rebuked General Zaluzhny, 50, for his claims.
When The Sun asked Mr. Zelensky about relations with his commanders, the president said generals who went into politics had made a mistake.
He also warned that top politicians risk being disobeyed by their soldiers if they become political.
Zelensky spoke of the Ukrainian commanders who entered politics after 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea.
He said: “Various political forces are pushing the military into politics.
“It was after 2014 when every political party wanted some military men, war stars, and I think that was a very big mistake.
“They were pushed into politics because their reputations were destroyed, etc.”
General Zaluzhny’s supporters stenciled his portrait in liberated cities last year.
He was widely credited with being the mastermind of the Ukrainian resistance.
And Zaluzhny is rumored to be a potential rival to Zelensky if he decides to become a politician.
In a thinly veiled message to commanders, Zelensky said: “If a military man decides to do politics, then it is his right, then he should go into politics, and then he cannot deal with war.”
“If you fight a war knowing that tomorrow you will be doing politics or elections, then in your words and on the front lines you behave like a politician and not like a soldier, and I think that is a big mistake.”
Zelensky also warned that soapbox soldiers risked insubordination that would endanger Ukraine’s unity.
He added: “With all due respect to General Zaluzhny and all the commanders who are on the battlefield, there is an absolute understanding of the hierarchy, and that’s all, and there cannot be two, three, four, five.”
“This is one thing, in accordance with the law and in time of war, it cannot even be discussed. This does not lead to the unity of the nation.”
General Zaluzhny told The Economist that the front lines were heading toward a World War I-like stalemate because both sides had similar technology.
He claimed that breaking the impasse would require drones and better electronic warfare to detect incoming missiles.
He said: “There will most likely be no breakthrough.”
Zelensky replied: “There is no moral stalemate.
“We are at our home. Russians are on our land. Therefore, there is no stalemate.
Read more at the Scottish Sun
“In relation to the, there is no stalemate. The Russians have more in this.”
Zelensky then fired a deputy to General Zaluzhny, who was in charge of the special forces.
THANKS TO OUR TEAMS
Zelensky with the team from News Corp and Fox Corp
By Jerome Starkey
PRESIDENT Zelensky thanked reporters for their courage after inviting Lachlan Murdoch, the chief executive of Fox Corp and chairman of News Corp, to visit Ukraine.
Mr Murdoch took with him a journalist from each company – Benjamin Hall of Fox News and Jerome Starkey, defense editor of The Sun.
In a press release, Mr. Zelensky thanked “the media group’s representatives for comprehensive coverage of Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression and for reporting on Russian atrocities despite the risks to themselves.”
Last March, a group of Fox News journalists came under Russian fire in Horenka, near Kiev. Cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian fixer Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed.
Briton Benjamin Hall was seriously wounded, losing part of a leg on one side and part of a foot on the other, and also has limited function in one hand and one eye.
President Zelensky awarded him the Order of Merit III. Class for his “outstanding personal contribution to strengthening intergovernmental cooperation and supporting the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
It was his first visit to Ukraine since his serious injury.
The president thanked Mr Murdoch for his visit and “emphasized that this is a very important signal of support at a time when the world’s attention is clouded by other events”.
Jerome, The Sun’s award-winning defense editor, has reported from the front lines in Ukraine since the start of the war.
Mr Zelensky said: “All along, journalists, cameramen, editors, photographers and drivers were on the front line.
“It is thanks to journalists from many countries that we now have such support worldwide.”