Zelensky warns skeptical Americans 'if they do not change their opinion' they can expect to send their sons and daughters to die for Ukraine
Russia's invasion of Ukraine triggered a lot of goodwill in the United States for the battered country on the frontiers of Europe, but Ukraine's leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, is a different story.
Instead of doing all he can to increase U.S. support for Ukraine, he's doing a heckuva job to reverse it.
His latest statement was to browbeat the U.S. into giving more — and more — to Ukraine. Seems the $46 billion already sent was not enough.
In response to a reporter's question at a press conference on the Feb. 24 anniversary of the invasion about falling popular support in the U.S. for the Ukraine war, Zelensky had this to say to those Americans:
[T]hat percentage of Americans as you've mentioned is increasing, I can tell them only one thing: If they do not change their opinion, if they do not understand us, if they do not support Ukraine, they will lose NATO, they will lose the clout of the United States, they will lose the leadership position that they are joined of the world. They are joined for a very fair reason. They will lose the support of a country with 40 million, with millions of children. Are American children any different from ours? Don't Americans enjoy the same things as we do? I don't think we are that different. nd I'm very happy we have bipartisan support, but we keep hearing those messages from time to time and very dangerous. There are political leaders that are elected by people and if this issue is raised, those political leaders need to be responsible and cautious because people are looking at them. Who wants a third world war? Would anyone risk, would anyone be willing accept that risk? The U.S. is never going to give up on the NATO member states. If it happens though that Ukraine due to various opinions and weakening and depleting of assistance loses, Russia is going to enter Baltic states, NATO member states, and then the U.S. will have to send their sons and daughters exactly the same way as we are sending [their - may be translation error] sons and daughters to war, and they will have to fight, because it is NATO we are talking about and they will be dying, God forbid, because it's a horrible thing. I would like to thank all of the American people that are supporting Ukraine, the Congress, the president, the TV channels, the journalists, and everyone who has been supporting us.
That doesn't seem like much of a pitch to gain support for the war as he's perimetered it out.
Let's go back to how this situation evolved: prior to the invasion, Zelensky had a monster at his border and prepared no significant defense or deterrence.
He publicly insisted that the Russians wouldn't dream of invading when even the CIA openly warned him that it was coming.
His nation wasn't a member of NATO, because Germany said it is too corrupt.
He's now got a full blown war on his hands yet refuses to negotiate with Russia, which in its mind has legitimate security concerns, historic claims on the region, and a still wounded psyche following the breakup of the USSR. No negotiations whatsoever — just total victory or nothing, as if he had the resources to achieve that.
Russia actually made a pretty reasonable suggestion prior to the invasion: that Ukraine pledge not to join NATO and stay neutral, which has worked out well for countries such as Austria, but Zelensky was headstrong in insisting that Ukraine's sovereignty would be negated if that happened.
He seemed to be convinced that NATO would bail his country out even without a membership card, and well, under Joe Biden, it has, so now that he's got the U.S. on his string (the rest of NATO other than the U.K. is insignificant and nearly useless), he's demanding even more.
And his demands aren't about to stop. Anyone who opposes them is going to bring the U.S. into a world war, so such people need to "change their opinions," and never mind the matter of his acting like a little dictator to us, let alone any prospect of him cleaning up his act.
The entire press conference can be viewed and heard here — notice the gentle and conciliatory tone Zelensky employs to the skeptical Romanian journalist, concerned about the costs of the war and bordering Romania's role in it, which has been largely to host refugees.
That's in sharp contrast to his browbeating tone directed against ordinary Americans.
He's shown similar ingratitude toward Elon Musk, which I wrote about here.
Do something nice for him, and watch the insults eventually come.
Instead of yelling at ordinary Americans for not wanting to get into an extended war, or even a nuclear conflict with Russia, which are the issues here, he ought to be taking a good look at himself and start doing things that might raise his support from Americans.
Where are his open books about all the money spent so that Americans can see whether this massive amount of U.S. aid has been spent on defense or wasted on consultant contracts and crony pocket-lining?
Where's his transparency on the Hunter Biden affair, where cash was shoveled out to Joe Biden's drug-addicted son in exchange for influence with "the big guy"? What of the reports that the records were destroyed?
Explain why he's so interested in associating with the Beautiful People, from Vogue photo shoots to reports like this.
So apparently Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian President Zelensky, spent €40.000 during a 1-hour visit to a store in Paris on Avenue Montaigne while visiting France to plead for more financial support for Ukraine.....— Richard (@ricwe123) February 28, 2023
Maybe he can tamp that stuff down for a little while to get the war over with before his wife goes shopping?
Why is he unwilling to negotiate with Russia? The weak guy in any conflict is normally always willing to negotiate.
More to the point, why is his government still so undemocratic and worse still, so corrupt?
TIPP Insights has an excellent, must-read analysis on why American support for Ukraine is falling based on this, and a string of other matters, noting:
The average American who cannot place Ukraine on a map or has to work two jobs to keep his family afloat does not want to be held responsible for a conflict that occurred 5,000 miles away. Drawing false equivalencies between the likes of American and Ukrainian children — to drive home another emotional, conscience factor of support will likely fail. Most Americans believe that the sooner the fighting stops, territorial integrity issues aside, the killing and the suffering will cease. The end of the war could also mean more affordable gas and groceries — a possibility that millions of Americans would wholeheartedly welcome.
Beltway politicians and the media may not care about the hidden costs of the Ukraine war, but the average American does. The tide will further shift with GOP presidential candidates sounding the alarm on how the U.S. government is spending more resources in Ukraine and less in East Palestine or the southern border.
That's about the essence of it as far as popular sentiment goes. TIPP Insights warns that American support for Ukraine has limits, and those limits are being reached at this point, with public support going downward. They point out that Zelensky repeatedly attempts to scold Americans into supporting his government based on a "conscience" argument, attempting to tell us we are moral degenerates if we don't support his way of doing the extended war.
We still see no negotiations. We still see a fountain gusher of money flowing outward to Ukraine even as Americans suffer the Biden economy and watch as the territorial integrity of the U.S. goes unprotected with his open border.
Now we hear that we are the bad guys if we don't keep shelling out for Ukraine, even if that pipeline we are shelling out through is full of holes, and we don't see a lot of progress in Ukraine as a result.
Might Zelensky start doing things differently if the $46 billion in aid isn't good enough for his grand dreams? That never occurs to him.
Humility doesn't seem to be in his game, and he's got a lot to be humble about.
Good luck winning that American support with these kinds of arguments. The more he talks, the sooner the day comes when the U.S. aid spigot shuts down.