The West would prefer for Zelensky to get on board with their demands for resuming peace talks with Russia or for him to at the very least not further destabilize the state by widening his rift with Zaluzhny. Instead, he’s flat-out refused peace talks with Russia under any circumstances and is recklessly exacerbating his rivalry with the military chief, which raises the risk of a mutiny and with it the possible reversal of all Ukrainian gains.
The New York Times (NYT) did a rare act of journalistic service by reporting that “Zelensky Rebuke of Top General Signals Rift in Ukrainian Leadership”, which normalized discussion of his rivalry with Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny. It had earlier been observed by others but hitherto dismissed by the Mainstream Media (MSM) as pure speculation. Now, however, everyone can talk about it without fear of being smeared as a “conspiracy theorist” or “Russian agent” after this leading MSM outlet’s report.
The NYT’s article came shortly after Time Magazine’s cover story on Zelensky exposed some “politically inconvenient” truths about Ukraine, particularly that some front-line commanders are refusing suicidal orders to advance even when they come from his own office. This damning claim was then followed by The Economist’s three-part series on Zaluzhny, within which he admitted that the conflict has reached a stalemate and strongly implied that a mutiny might break out if something doesn’t soon change.
With a view towards averting a Prigozhin-like incident in Ukraine, which could further discredit the country’s faux “democratic” credentials in the eyes of the Western public and possibly create an opening for a Russian breakthrough, NBC reported that the West has broached the topic of peace talks with Kiev. Their piece was published on the same day as the NYT’s and was denied by Zelensky, who nonetheless admitted how disappointed he is that that some Ukrainians and their media are in favor of this scenario.
The day before NBC’s and the NYT’s reports, President Putin revealed during his meeting with members of the Civic Chamber that “[Americans] are now planning a change of elites – both economic and political one.” He also noted that the West is changing its tune about defeating Russia on the battlefield, which reinforces the impression gleaned from the four previously cited articles – Time’s, The Economist’s, NBC’s, and the NYT’s – that this bloc is indeed interested in freezing the proxy war.
In pursuit of that end, their leading MSM outlets are preconditioning the public to accept a comparatively pragmatic compromise that falls far short of their side’s previously declared maximum goal of “strategically defeating” Russia, ergo the aforementioned spree of articles to that effect. This perception management operation is proceeding at an unprecedentedly accelerated pace as evidenced by the fact that so much has been done by such influential outlets in the span of just several days.
The NYT’s report is the most impactful of them all since it prepares the Western public for the possibility that the Zelensky-Zaluzhny rivalry might soon reach crisis proportions, especially if the first tries to remove the second, in which case there’s a chance that the West might back the latter. This prediction is predicated on the argument that the West’s newly recalibrated interests in this conflict rest on preserving Ukraine’s on-the-ground gains thus far instead of risking their loss in a potential mutiny.
The four latest articles over the past few days suggest that this is an accurate reading of their newfound approach as was explained in the preceding paragraphs, with this assessment becoming all the more compellingly when remembering Time Magazine’s and The Economist’s hints about a brewing rebellion. Zelensky’s public rebuke of Zaluzhny was likely driven by what the first of those two outlets claimed per their unnamed inside entourage sources is his “messianic delusion” of total victory despite the dim odds.
If the Ukrainian leader was thinking clearly and was truly as focused on his country’s objective national interests as he presents himself as being, then he’d never have said what he did about the Commander-in-Chief, which recklessly exacerbated their rivalry and offended the whole armed forces. The US has a much better reading of the country’s pulse than Zelensky and those closest to him who contribute to his delusional echo chamber, which is why’re increasingly concerned about his growing rift with Zaluzhny.
After all, Zelensky himself even admitted how disappointed he is with some Ukrainians and their media being in favor of peace talks with Russia that aim to freeze the conflict, which aligns with military’s sentiment as reported by the AFP on the same day as the NYT’s and NBC’s articles. Titled “’We’re losing’: Ukrainians reel from war chief’s stalemate warning”, it serves as the fifth unflattering piece in just several days proving the existence of an newly initiated MSM campaign about Ukraine.
The West would prefer for Zelensky to get on board with their demands for resuming peace talks with Russia, even if he doesn’t participate in them due to last year’s law prohibiting this, or for him to at the very least not further destabilize the state by widening his rift with Zaluzhny. Instead, he’s flat-out refused peace talks with Russia under any circumstances and is recklessly exacerbating his rivalry with the military chief, which raises the risk of a mutiny and with it the possible reversal of all Ukrainian gains.
These calculations add context to President Putin’s revelation that “[Americans] are now planning a change of elites – both economic and political one”, which in turn enables average Westerners to better understand one of the reasons behind the MSM’s spree of unflattering articles about Zelensky. His “messianic delusions” have led to him transforming from a Hybrid War asset against Russia to a liability in this proxy war after he’s remained recalcitrant to peace talks and provoked tensions with the military.
If he continues demanding suicidal human waves against Russia (which more and more front-line commanders refuse to carry out) and possibly tries to remove Zaluzhny, then a mutiny might be inevitable, in which case the West could support its swift success for the “greater good”. What’s meant by this is that Zaluzhny’s replacement of Zelensky could lead to the resumption of peace talks, a sincere anti-corruption campaign, and elections that implement the West’s allegedly desired change of elites.
The economic one would be replaced via that anti-corruption campaign while the political elite would be replaced via parliamentary and presidential elections, the latter of which could see former senior advisor Alexey Arestovich coming out on top after he just declared his candidacy. He recently made headlines for savagely criticizing Zelensky after what Time Magazine reported about him, and his “politically inconvenient” observations about everything are thought to deeply resonate with many Ukrainians.
The stage is therefore set for the West to implement its allegedly desired change of the Ukrainian elites if Zelensky doesn’t get on board with their reported peace talks and/or recklessly exacerbates his rivalry with Zaluzhny to the point of provoking a Prigozhin-like mutiny. This insight explains the supreme importance of the NYT’s latest article that drew attention to those two’s growing rivalry, which revolutionized Western discourse about this conflict as that bloc prepares to dump Ukraine for Israel.