US Calls for Change in Ukraine’s Leadership in 2024

Department of Defense and Department of State would like to see the former boxer and an active participant of the events of 2014 Maidan coup d’état Vitali Klitschko, now the mayor of Kiev, as the President of Ukraine

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Nuland vs. Zelenskyy

The documents were leaked months ago when several secret US Department of Defense’s files were exposed by Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old soldier working at the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Being employed in the information technology sector, Teixeira had access to several classified government data, having leaked many of them. In April, Teixeira was arrested and is expected to be sentenced to around 10 years in prison.

What was not known until now is that among the documents there was a letter in which a Pentagon official showed his interest in putting someone more competent than Zelensky to take the presidency in Ukraine. In addition, Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland herself is apparently also involved in this plan, having expressed her personal desire to see Vitali Klitschko as president. In a certain part of the document, there is an open call for “creating conditions” to elect Vitali in 2024.

“The letter, dated February 22, 2023, states that the leadership of the US State Department, as well as top officials of the US Department of Defense, are not happy with Ukrainian President Zelensky and are planning his exchange as President of Ukraine, for the ex-boxer Vitali Klitschko as his replacement in 2024 (…) According to the letter, the leadership of the Pentagon expresses agreement with an opinion of the United States Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland that Zelensky is ‘exhausting his political capacity rapidly’. Judging by the letter, both Department of Defense and Department of State would like to see the former boxer and an active participant of the events of 2014 Maidan coup d’état Vitali Klitschko, now the mayor of Kiev, as the President of Ukraine”, Dutch journalist Sonja van den Ende wrote.  

Former boxer and a famous supporter of the neo-Nazi regime, Vitali Klitschko has governed the city of Kiev since the 2014 coup d’état. He gained notoriety in the international media for his “patriotism” after the start of Russia’s special military operation, when he stated that he would “take up arms” with his brother, Vladimir, to defend the Ukrainian capital and repel the Russian “invaders”. Portrayed by Western newspapers as “courageous” and “heroic”, Klitschko has won the sympathy of many Westerners, which explains why some figures now want him as the new head of state.

However, Klitschko is not the only name on the list of predictions to replace Zelensky. There are several reports that point to different people as possible candidates for the Ukrainian presidency. Previously, names like the Commander in Chief of Ground Forces Alexander Syrsky, Ukrainian intelligence head Kirill Budanov and Armed Forces Commander Valeri Zaluzhnyi have been mentioned as possible candidates for Zelensky’s office. More recently, western media outlets have suggested that the Ukrainian president would be replaced, not by another individual head of state, but by a team of officials led by the head of parliament Ruslan Stefanchuck.

Apparently, there is still no consensus on who may be the new president of Ukraine. But the consensus is real about the Western desire to remove Zelensky. For Western authorities and media, Zelensky is already a problematic and negative public figure. As stated in the documents, the Ukrainian president is “exhausting his political capacity rapidly”. This is due to his constant unjustified “beggar” behavior towards his NATO partners, in addition to the repeated military failures and territorial losses.

The possibilities of justifying Zelensky’s actions through mere propaganda are running out, which is why he is likely to be removed. In this sense, Vitali Klitschko seems to sound more interesting to Kiev’s international partners. His image seems more positive than Zelensky’s for public opinion, which tends to legitimize among citizens the continuity of the military assistance policy. In other words, in order to continue to wage the proxy war against Russia, the West needs someone more competent, less criticized than Zelensky.

It remains to be seen how Zelensky would be removed. Being a dictatorial regime under martial law, it is difficult for changes to occur through electoral and democratic means. Recently, in an article published by Politico, it was suggested that Zelensky could be assassinated and some officials have even a “secret plan” to be followed in case this happens. The move looks like an attempt to prepare public opinion for a false flag operation. Zelensky could be killed and his death falsely blamed on Russia, legitimizing a new escalation.

Considering that plans to replace him have been in the works since at least February – as leaked documents show – and that the media is already talking about a possible assassination.

Lucas Leiroz

Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant.

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