War in Ukraine: how Zelensky copes with war weariness in the West

by MMC
0 comment
  • By James Waterhouse
  • Ukrainian correspondent in Kyiv

Image source, Getty Images

Their relationship may be close, the handshakes may have been firm, but President Volodymyr Zelensky had to roll up his sleeves during his trip to the United States and Canada.

The latter was the easier ending. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to support Ukraine “as long as it takes” against the Russian invasion, and he has cross-party support in this endeavour.

America’s pockets are deeper, but its politics are far more complicated.

This proposal is bogged down in Congress in a disagreement over budgets.

The difficulties don’t end there either.

In addition to his counterpart Joe Biden, the Ukrainian leader also met with Republican politicians who are struggling to contain growing skepticism within their party.

“We are protecting the liberal world, this should resonate with the Republicans,” a government adviser in kyiv told me.

“It was more difficult when the war started, because it was chaos,” he says.

“Now we can be more specific in our demands because we know what our allies have and where they store it. Our president could be defense minister in a number of countries!” he added.

Unfortunately for kyiv, this is not the case, and political challenges are increasing.

“Why should Ukraine continue to receive a blank check? What does victory look like?”

These are two questions that the Ukrainian leader is trying to answer on the international stage.

And that’s why he now seems to be doing more negotiating than campaigning – simply to keep Western aid flowing.

A Polish ban on Ukrainian imports led President Zelensky to indirectly accuse Warsaw of “helping Russia.”

Let’s just say it went very badly in Poland, with President Andrzej Duda describing Ukraine as a “drowning person who could drag you down.”

Since then, the situation has deteriorated.

Even for a seasoned war leader, diplomatic times are difficult.

Upcoming elections in partner countries like Poland, Slovakia and the United States cloud the picture. Some candidates prioritize domestic issues over military support for Ukraine.

“The need to balance military aid with voter satisfaction makes things really complicated,” says Serhiy Gerasymchuk of the Ukrainian foreign policy think tank Prism.

“Ukraine must find a balance between promoting its interests, using all possible tools, while taking into account the situation of partner countries and the EU. This is a challenge.”

These are the kind of democratic cycles that Russian leader Vladimir Putin doesn’t have to worry about.

This is why kyiv is trying to present this war as a fight not only for its sovereignty, but also for democracy itself.

“The moral aspect of this war is enormous,” said the advisor.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom signed the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.

Ukraine returned to Russia the Soviet nuclear weapons remaining on its soil, in exchange for the commitment that its territorial integrity would be respected and defended by the other signatory countries.

Nine years of Russian aggression have made this agreement seem like a broken promise here.

Kiev is also trying to play the longer-term game, trying to better engage with countries like Brazil and South Africa, which have been apathetic in the face of the Russian invasion.

It is a strategy that did not bring immediate results.

“It is true that we depend on success on the ground,” says the Ukrainian government advisor.

He claims the media oversimplified the Ukrainian counteroffensive by focusing too much on the frontline theater, where gains were marginal, and less on the substantial successes of the Crimea missile strikes and targeting of ships. Russian war.

Ukraine has always maintained that it “will not rush” its counter-offensive.

As the politics of this war become increasingly tied to combat, this is being tested more than ever.

Additional reporting by Hanna Chornous, Insaf Abbas and Anna Tsyba.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

The news website dedicated to showcasing Africa news is a valuable platform that offers a diverse and comprehensive look into the continent’s latest developments. Covering everything from politics and economics to culture and wildlife conservation

u00a92022 All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by PenciDesign