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JULY 2020

Zelensky’s Wrong Turn

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Zelensky's Wrong Turn

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President Volodymyr Zelensky came to power in Ukraine speculating on the local population’s hope to get rid of Petro Poroshenko’s legacy. However, recent developments show that Zelensky is just becoming the Poroshenko 2.0.

On September 25, Zelensky made his first speech at the United Nations General Assembly. The speech was full of the Poroshenko-style rhetorics, clown’s tricks and speculations on the supposed ‘war with Russia’.

“The war in Donbas has already lasted five years and five years have passed since Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. Despite the existence of international law and hundreds of organizations designed to defend it, our country defends its own sovereignty and territorial integrity with weapons in its hands and losing its citizens.

More than 13 thousand people killed. 30 thousand wounded. One and a half million people were forced to leave their homes. Every year, these monstrous numbers are heard here, but with one correction – every year these numbers get bigger.

The end of the war, the return of all the occupied Ukrainian territories and the prevailing of peace are my tasks. But not at the cost of our citizens’ lives, not at the cost of freedom or the right of Ukraine to its own choice.

That is why we need the support of the world. I understand: everyone present here has their own state concern and other people’s problems should not worry you more than your own. But in today’s world, where we live, there is no longer someone else’s war. None of you can feel safe when there is a war in Ukraine, when there is a war in Europe,” Zelensky claimed de-facto repeating Poroshenko’s speeches of the previous years.

The EU, the US and the world, in general, are tired by the Ukrainian leadership’s claims about the supposed war with Russia, in which Ukraine claims to be engaged. Instead of settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine by negotiating a peace settlement with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, the Kiev regime is exploting the ‘threat of war’ to suck funds from the EU, the US and international institutions and explain its own economic and political failures.

This predentermined the popularity of Zelensky’s speech. The hall was almost empty.

Zelensky even mimicked Poroshenko’s image by showing a bullet to the audience instead of talking about the real questions related to the European security (like illegal arms and drugs flow from Ukraine to nearby states).

Zelensky's Wrong Turn

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Zelensky’s speech does not explain why Ukraine has not officialyl declared the war with Russia if it’s already engaged in a military confrontation with this neighbouring country. The President also ignored that during the recent years the conflict in eastern Ukraine was mostly based on daly artillery strikes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on areas controlled by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic causing multiple civilian casualties.

Since 2014, Ukrainian intelligence and security services detained multiple Ukrainian citizens and some Russians in Ukraine under various pretexts. Many of these people have been tortured and illegally imprisoned. The recent 35-35 ‘prisoner exchange’ between Russia and Ukraine showed that at least 22 people handed over to Moscow were not Russian citizens. So, Russia is just rescuing Ukrainian citizens from their own state. If Ukraine really believes that it’s ‘in war’, it openly violates the laws of war by torturing prisoners.

Zelensky came to power declaring that he aims to restore peace and stability in Ukraine, put an end to the conflict in the eastern part of the country and, at least, de-escalate relations with Russia. This rhetoric dominated first years of the Zelensky presidency. The European Union considered this a positive development that in the future should allow improving the security situation in Eastern Europe and restoring trade and proper economic activity in the region. Nonetheless, the further developments led to the EU disenchantment with Ukraine.

Furthermore, the Zelensky government is being infiltrated by notorious Poroshenko-era radicals and corruptionists. In particular, Zelensky appointed Anton Gerashchenko as the Ukrainian Deputy Interior Minister. Gerashchenko is widely known as a supporter of political prosecutions and murders of opposition activists and people with ‘wrong views’ in Ukraine. He’s the founder of the infamous website ‘Mirotvoretc’ that collects and releases personal data of people that criticize actions of the Kiev regime and its foreign backers. Many of people listed in Mirotvoretc died in ‘suspicious’ circumstances.

Another interesting point is that the Zelensky speech in the UN was accompanied with the publication of the Trump-Zelensky phone call transcript. In this phone call, the Ukrainian President found time to accuse Germany and France of working not enough to support Ukraine and fight Russia. As to the US leader himself, Donald Trump in his UN speech did not even mention Ukraine or the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The US, Germany and France demonstrate that they have changed the vision of the Ukraine question and are not interested in the escalation of the situation in the region. Therefore, it’s hard to expect that Zelensky’s current stance will find support among the Western leaders.

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