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Russia's SVR Predicts the West Will Dump Zelensky When He's No Use to Them

Russia’s foreign intelligence service (SVR) issued a statement on June 20, part of which was published by TASS It predicted that Volodymyr Zelensky’s Western handlers will sacrifice him, at the point that Russia consolidates its successes on the battlefield, and Ukrainian troops find themselves in a hopeless situation. RT published additional parts of the statement not covered by TASS. noting the SVR’s assertion that Zelensky has “lost all independence” and “is on a short leash in the hands of curators” from Washington.

According to RT, the SVR said “it is becoming increasingly evident that the White House will soon shut down `Project Zelensky’.” Once Zelensky is of no use, “the White House will throw him on the trash heap of history with no second thought and replace him with another Ukrainian politician whom it considers suitable to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Russia.” It suggests that retired Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, former commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, might be a likely candidate. Early in May, TASS reported that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko had also been considered.

In remarks to reporters in Hanoi on June 20, President Vladimir Putin had more to say about Zelensky’s situation, and on the broader issue of negotiating with Kiev. TASS reported him saying that the West intends to blame Zelensky for all unpopular decisions—such as his recent lowering the conscription age—and to replace him in the first half of next year. The West doesn’t want to replace him right now, as the time isn’t right, Putin explained. However, he continued, Russia is ready to negotiate a settlement of the Ukrainian conflict right now, “as early as tomorrow,” and recommended that all parties study his peace proposals.

“The peace proposals from our side are on the table,” he said. “This doesn’t depend on us when all the actors interested in negotiations will take what’s on the table and get down to negotiating. They can do it tomorrow, but it is up to them when they bother to do it.” Russia never refused to negotiate. “We are in favor of it and have never given up on it, but not on the basis of some ephemeral forms but rather on those agreements…that were reached after almost a month and a half of difficult negotiations in Istanbul and Minsk. It is the basis on which we are ready to continue our dialogue with the Ukrainian side. It does not matter where they take place: in Minsk, Istanbul or Switzerland.”