Zelenskyy now fighting more than war with Russia

David Pakman
Liberal Opinion

David Pakman

Host of The David Pakman Show
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It’s been an incredible turnaround in recent weeks for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Once a maligned politician accused of corruption and incompetence, he has seen his global image completely overhauled as he has stood firm in the public eye while Russia invaded his country. His refusal to leave Ukraine, despite several reported assassination attempts, has earned him praise from the international community and admiration from his fellow countrymen.

The stakes for Zelenskyy are enormous, with the war with Russia the most obvious and pressing. Trying to hold back Vladimir Putin‘s army from seizing control of the country is the primary concern. But even beyond that, he has Ukraine’s future to consider.

For example, Ukraine has applied for European Union membership. European union membership takes a while to be adjudicated and decided upon. It’s a long process absent this invasion by Russia. How willing would the EU be to welcome Ukraine and will having been invaded if Ukraine survives be what actually pushes them over the line into ultimately getting into the European Union? That’s a huge consequence. It’s, it’s a hugely consequential decision, uh, or, or outcome for Ukraine.

NATO. There has been the question of, well, what about bringing Ukraine into NATO? Something which Vladimir Putin would be horrified by Zelenskyy leadership if ever Ukraine were to get in NATO could ultimately be the deciding factor. And so the consideration for Zelenskyy is not just, ‘Can he save the country’?

Can he maintain the country’s sovereignty against this invasion from Vladimir Putin? But the other part of it is can he manage the situation diplomatically and from a PR perspective, such that Ukraine can maybe be better positioned later, whether it’s EU or NATO or whatever else the case may be. It’s an incredible amount of pressure. When you think of it, he is literally fighting a war and trying to position Ukraine diplomatically so that if Ukraine comes out of this in a way where Ukraine still exist as such, maybe EU membership is on the table, maybe NATO membership is on the table.

That is what Zelenskyy has to consider as he also tries to stay alive with his country under increasingly aggressive attacks from Russia.

There are so many different things that I could talk about when it comes to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And many of these things have been talked about, I wanna focus in a little bit on president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has become an incredibly sympathetic character globally as a result of his country, being invaded by Russia, and is really a very interesting and sort of unlikely hero.

Now, I think it’s important to know for people who were not following the politics of the region prior to this invasion, Zelenskyy was not particularly popular in Ukraine and not because his background is from acting comedy, et cetera.

If anything, we’ve learned that those folks can be just as popular or unpopular as anybody else. But he was seen to some degree as corrupt and self-serving to a great degree. Um, not the most popular guy within Ukraine or internationally Zelenskyy, but as a result of this aggression, and it is aggression from Vladimir Putin,  invading Ukraine, Zelenskyy has quickly become one of the most revered leaders on this planet with few exceptions, like, you know, Belarus which is basically under the thumb of Russia to some degree, you know, few, few places Zelenskyy is being seen as a moral freedom fighter, Patriot who is there defending his country. He could be hiding out. He could have fled the country, but he has been there and is now enjoying popularity that you couldn’t buy for yourself no matter what you did.

Now will he get out alive of this situation? We don’t know. And one of the stories that we learned about over a recent time is about this foiled assassination plot. There was actually a plot established with some, uh, Chechen, if I wanna call it a militia, but with some Chechen fighters to assassinate president Zelenskyy and Ukrainian security officials caught wind of it and foiled it. And as the reporting currently stands, part of why they were able to foil the assassination plot is that the FSB security service members of the FSB who disagree with what Vladimir Putin is doing, uh, went and told the Ukrainian security officials, there is this plot and you need to do something about it. So it’s an incredible situation where because of modern technology and the fact that at any point is Zelenskyy can record a video and put it out on the internet.

We are number one, regularly getting video from president Zelenskyy he’s issuing statements to the, uh, EU parliament. He is giving interviews to CNN and other places from his bunker, the bunker in which he is, uh, protected he’s out on the streets of Keve the capital of Ukraine filming himself and sending out videos. And yet he may end up killed before this thing is over, and it is an incredible juxtaposition of the sort of modern, the, of high speed internet, giving us direct access, almost ubiquitous access to people, even people in incredible positions where, you know, in, in world war I and world war II, these folks would be vaguely off somewhere. We can’t see in anything approximating real time, fighting a war he’s there, and we’re seeing it in real time. That’s incredible. But also the guy is still at risk of getting killed at absolutely any time.

Now, if Zelenskyy survives and Ukraine survives as a sovereign country and he remains in power, there are real questions about the diplomatic future of Ukraine. For example, Ukraine has applied for European union membership. European union membership takes a while to be adjudicated and decided upon it’s a long process absent this invasion by Russia. How willing would the EU be to welcome Ukraine and will having been invaded if Ukraine survives be what actually pushes them over the line into ultimately getting into the European union? That’s a huge consequence. It’s, it’s a hugely consequential decision, uh, or, or outcome for Ukraine. NATO. There has been the question of, well, what about bringing Ukraine into NATO? Something which Vladimir Putin would be horrified by Zelenskyy leadership if ever Ukraine were to get in NATO could ultimately be the deciding factor. And so the consideration for Zelenskyy is not just, can he save the country?

Can he maintain the country’s sovereignty against this invasion from Vladimir Putin? But the other part of it is can he manage the situation diplomatically and from a PR perspective, such that Ukraine can maybe be better positioned later, whether it’s EU or NATO or whatever else the case may be. It’s an incredible amount of pressure. When you think of it, he is literally fighting a war and trying to position Ukraine diplomatically so that if Ukraine comes out of this in a way where Ukraine still exist as such, maybe EU membership is on the table, maybe NATO membership is on the table. Incredible, incredible. And a guy who four months ago was not particularly popular globally, nor even within his country.


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