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It’s clear that the mood in DC has radically shifted from one of unwavering solidarity with Zelensky to contempt, ridicule, and scathing criticisms.
American policymakers and those who influence them are known to rely heavily on DC-based Politico for guidance, which is why it’s such a big deal that this outlet just dumped on Zelensky in their feature story about him as part of this year’s “POLITICO 28: Class of 2024” series. He’s described as “Dreamer No. 1” in the world, which is arguably an allusion to what one of his unnamed senior advisors told Time Magazine in late October about him having messianic delusions of maximum victory over Russia.
The mockery continues all throughout the piece, with the next example being when Politico wrote that Zelensky “cajoled, shamed and begged nations” into helping his own. This description aligns with what his critics across the world have been saying, namely that he’s aggressively demanding a never-ending redistribution of their fellow taxpayers’ hard-earned funds to his country. Politico then took another swipe at him by writing that he’s an “entertainer who became a president after playing one on TV.”
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The purpose in suggesting that he’s way in over his head is to draw attention to how difficult it’ll be for “Dreamer No. 1” in the world to manage the panoply of problems that next year is expected to bring. They wrote that “the world is distracted”, “Ukrainians are exhausted” by “Russia’s brutal meat-grinder”, Europeans are poised to “curb their generosity of spirit” for his people due to a “cost-of-living crunch”, and “EU politicians are getting skittish about the likely cost to their bottom lines” of letting Ukraine join.
In the face of this unprecedented pressure, “Zelenskyy has moved from pleading with Western countries for help to lecturing them — and that hasn’t landed quite as successfully as his more uplifting orations”, they wrote. As proof of this, Politico reminded everyone about how “the British defense secretary and the U.S. national security adviser separately warned that Ukraine ought to show more ‘gratitude’ to its allies” during summer’s NATO Summit. They then went out with a bang in the following way:
“To hold a ballot in a time of war, Zelenskyy — with the parliament’s agreement — would need to change Ukraine’s constitution. And the prospect raises major questions about democratic legitimacy: Most of the country’s television channels are heavily government-controlled, censorship is rife, millions of Ukrainians who fled the war remain abroad, and tens of thousands of soldiers would be voting in battle zones. And that’s before the cost of organizing and securing a wartime vote is considered.”
Their concluding sentence ominously hinted that “Dreamer No. 1” in the world is doomed to fail when they editorialized that “Those are huge, if not intractable, problems — the question is whether Zelenskyy can pull it off, and at what cost.” Reflecting on their article, it’s clear that the mood in DC has radically shifted from one of unwavering solidarity with Zelensky to contempt, ridicule, and scathing criticisms as the Ukrainian Conflict begins to wind down, which bodes very badly for his political future.
|Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He has a PhD from MGIMO.