Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is angry with the West and feels betrayed – as he tries to rally his regime for further resistance.
Simon Schuster wrote a 3,000+ word profile of the wartime leader for Time Magazine that is illuminating in so many ways and goes far beyond the usual Western propaganda in recognizing the reality on the ground.
Schuster had enormous access, including with top aides “talking outside the box” — which could reveal an internal process of preparing public opinion for his replacement.
He portrays Zelensky as a exhausted leader, due to the demands of leadership during the war – but also “the continued need to convince his allies that Ukraine can win with their help.”
This piece from the leader of Kiev tells a lot about the current situation: “No one believes in our victory as much as I do. No one. […] ‘It takes all your strength, your energy. You understand? So much of everything is needed. […] The scariest part is that part of the world has become accustomed to the war in Ukraine. The exhaustion from the war rolls on like a wave. You see it in the United States, in Europe. And we see that as soon as they start to get a little bit tired, it becomes a show for them: ‘I can’t watch this replay for the tenth time’.”
Schuster followed Zelensky and his team back to Kiev, where a member of his entourage described him as: “Angry.”
“The usual spark of his optimism, his sense of humor, his tendency to liven up a war room meeting with a bit of banter or a bawdy joke, none of it has survived the second year of all-out war.” “Now he comes in, gets the updates, gives the orders and walks out,” says a longtime member of his team. Another tells me that Zelensky feels especially betrayed by his Western allies. They have deprived him of the means to win the war, only the means to survive it.[…] “He’s fooling himself,” says one of his closest associates in frustration. ‘We’re out of options. We’re not winning. But try telling him that.”
His vain belief in Ukraine’s ultimate victory borders on the messianic.
Zelensky remains against even a temporary ceasefire. ‘For us it would mean leaving this wound open for future generations’.”
The Time correspondent also heard this from insiders ‘People steal like there is no tomorrow’.
How does he keep the attention focused on Ukraine? How does he unite the democratic world to its cause?
“’It makes sense,’ Zelensky tells me. ‘Of course we are losing out because of the events in the Middle East. People are dying, and the world’s help is needed there to save lives, to save humanity.” Zelenskiy […] asked the Israeli government for permission to visit their country as a show of solidarity. The answer appeared in Israeli media reports the following week: ‘The time is not right’.”
Read more about Zelensky:
Poland raises alarm over Wagner PMC fighters near Belarusian border – Swalki rift is new focus of European military conflict – Polish opposition says Prime Minister Morawiecki needs emergency to win next election
Mr Zelensky goes to Washington and discovers that the UN, the US and the world are very different this time: ‘If we don’t get the help, we will lose the war’