Reports indicate that Ukraines President Volodymyr Zelensky was planning to fire army chief Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, regarded as the second most popular man in Ukraine after the President.Despite a denial from the presidents spokesman, The Washington Post reports that Zelensky informed Gen. Valery Zaluzhny during a meeting on Monday this week that he is removing him. Zelenskys office has yet to issue an official statement, nor has Zaluzhnys. Zaluzhny and Zelensky have had a frosty relationship for some time. If and when elections happen this year, Zaluzhny is seen as a potential challenger to Zelensky, whose popularity has been dropping due to the war. After the failure of the much-awaited and costly Ukrainian counteroffensive last year, Zaluzhny admitted to The Economist in November that the fighting had become a stalemate, while the president offered a much more rosy message and rejected that characterization days later, prompting talks of a soured relationship between the pair. The reported move comes as Ukraines political and military leaders ponder over a widespread military draft, with both sides trying to blame the other for responsibility for the move, seen as unpopular by the Ukrainian people who have suffered bombardment from Russia for 2 years According to The Washington Post, Zelensky told his senior general that the country was growing weary of the war and foreign military aid had slowed, so the war effort needed some shake-up.According to one of the sources at the meeting, during a small gathering at his office on Monday, also attended by Defense Minister Rustem Umerov the president declared he had made a decision to dismiss the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The account is in line with other reports, including in The Washington Post and the Financial Times.In a conversation described as calm, Zelensky then proceeded to offer Zaluzhny a different position, which Zaluzhny declined.Ukraines president then underlined his decision, saying the fact that Zaluzhny had turned down the new role did not change the fact he was being removed from his current post. According to CNN, two names, in particular, are being discussed as possible successors, one of them is the current head of the Defense Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, a 38-year-old general known to have strong ties with Zelensky and seen as representing a new generation of military leaders. The post Zelensky to sack the second most popular man in Ukraine, Armed Forces commander in chief Zaluzhny appeared first on Linda Ikeji Blog.