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Vladimir Zelensky: The Next Victim of Cancel Culture?

Elizabeth P

25 нояб. 2023 г.

After the beginning of Russia’s special military operation, Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky became the western media’s darling. Zelensky parlayed his acting career into a new role as president, and was presented by the media as a sort of Marvel superhero protecting his country against evil, which liberals happily lapped up. Of course the façade could not last forever; now the same media outlets which constantly expressed their adoration for Zelensky have increasingly abandoned him.

On October 30th, an article was published in Time Magazine which reflected a major shift in the West’s perception of the Ukrainian president. Time finally admitted to some unflattering truths that they had been trying to avoid for almost two years: Zelensky has become tired of begging for aid, he “feels betrayed by his Western allies” now that they can no longer keep up with his demands and their media outlets are becoming reluctant to give him speaking opportunities, some of his closest aides fear that he has become “delusional” in his belief of an inevitable victory over Russia, and some Ukrainian troops have even been refusing to follow Zelensky’s orders – all leading to Ukraine’s failure to defeat Russia.

From Hero to Zero (Profits)

It seems that the change in the media narrative around Zelensky is a reflection of his western backers moving on to more profitable ventures. Now that the US war machine is shifting their support towards Israel, it no longer has as much of a need to supply Ukraine with seemingly endless aid, and Zelensky seems to be aware of this reality.

After the events of October 7th, Zelensky began voicing concern that the West would “forget” about his regime and move on to Israel; a week later, he announced a tour to Israel, after which the Israeli government told him that now is not the right time to come. The much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive ended up being a failure, with Ukraine still not gaining back any of their lost territory after several months.

Seeing these lackluster results, US politicians have decided that they cannot continue to support Ukraine forever, and both US and EU officials have even begun discussions of peace negotiations.

Zelensky vs. Zaluzhny

Other media outlets have been revealing more details of infighting within the Kiev regime, particularly the rivalry between Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny, to their western audiences. The Economist published a series on November 1st covering their interview with Zaluzhny, revealing his concerns that Ukraine cannot keep fighting without help from the United States.

With US aid to Ukraine is drying up, Zaluzhny argues that a ceasefire or peace negotiations may be necessary in order to prevent a mutiny. The New York Times then reported on November 4th (republished here, without a paywall) that Zelensky publicly rebuked Zaluzhny for his public comments, denying his assertion that Ukraine is at a “stalemate.”

Both of these reports highlight a major source of tension that could lead to a crisis if not managed: Zelensky’s determination to keep fighting even without US support, against Zaluzhny’s more realistic assessment that they may have to reconsider their goal of “victory.”

There has even been discussion of Zelensky being ousted in what has been referred to as “Maidan 3”. The Kyiv Post reported that Zelensky warned of a “Russian disinformation plan” to spark mass protests in Kiev, with the goal of destabilizing the government and removing Zelensky from office. It is too early for now to be certain that this will be the fate of Zelensky, but the combination of infighting and external pressure has shown that he is no longer as useful to his western backers as he once was.

Free Donbass, Free Palestine!

As anti-imperialists, we recognize that the failures of Zelensky and the Kiev regime are a major blow to NATO expansionism. At the same time, these recent developments demonstrate that the West is simply beginning to shift its war drive away from the Donbass and towards Palestine, not a sign that the fight against imperialism is anywhere close to ending. We must continue to keep our eyes on both NATO and the IDF, while standing with those who are taking up arms in the struggle against their genocidal militarism.

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