The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is missing. A first-rate commander, admired by his troops and extremely smart and capable. But where is he?
Let’s go back to the time when Russia took Bakhmut. Ukraine was unable to match Russia, which infuriated Zelensky. It’s no secret that Ukraine has been sensitive about the Bakhmut issue and has never wanted the land to fall under Russian control, considering its strategic importance. But it did happen. Ukraine lost Bakhmut, and according to accounts, Ukraine’s military was opposed to holding it. The Ukrainian government would have been furious if the army head had done so.
Ukraine’s military is incapable
Valerii Zaluzhnyi made claims about Ukraine’s capability in an interview a few weeks back.
“Our victory is the complete liberation of the entire occupied territory of Ukraine. But this is not enough. Ukraine should rebuild such a military institution that will never, well, at least as long as the Ukrainians want to live in peace and tranquillity, will never give the Russians the opportunity to repeat everything. The state of Ukraine should become exactly like that.”
He emphasised the importance of rebuilding a military institution capable of preventing Russia from repeating its acts. And since then Zaluzhnyi is out of sight but certainly not out of mind.
Rumours began to circulate that he and other senior Ukrainian officers were slain in a meeting somewhere in eastern Ukraine. Another rumour said that he was severely injured. The Ukrainian authorities published a video clip of Zaluzhnyi to clear the air. However, the Military Summary Channel on YouTube questioned its veracity.
Zaluzhnyi’s body double?
There is no sound in the footage, which shows Zaluzhnyi sitting at his desk and waving to the videographer. The waving motion is unusual, as it is unusual for military or civilian officials to wave at a cameraman. Disagreements develop upon deeper inspection. Zaluzhnyi has blue eyes in a recognised photo, yet his eyes appear brown in the video. There are noticeable facial changes as well, particularly around the nose.
Could the video be of a Zaluzhnyi impersonator? Almost any video image can be mimicked in an age of deep fakes and AI technologies. A similar quandary developed in the case of the Ivan Khurs, the Russian espionage ship that was attacked by Ukrainian sea drones. The Ukrainians claimed the ship was sunk in a video, whereas the Russians said the ship arrived in Sevastopol harbour intact.
So, which version is true? It turns out the Ukrainian version of the Ivan Khurs story was fake. And so is the Zaluzhnyi one. It is becoming increasingly difficult to detect the truth in this age of misinformation and distorted media. Valerii Zaluzhnyi’s fate remains unknown, and concerns regarding the Ukrainian government’s participation continue.
Read More: And Ukraine loses Bakhmut
In the twisted world of political intrigue, where truth and deception dance a perilous tango, the tale of Zelensky and his missing army chief unfolds. Was it an assassination or a ploy of smoke and mirrors? Only time will reveal the chilling secrets lurking beneath the surface. After all, even in the land of comedy, a dictator’s shadow can cast a deadly pall over the stage.