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Posts tagged ‘Volodymyr Zelenskyy’

As Ukrainians Defect to Russia, We Should Ask Whether Our Billions Are Saving Democracy or Aiding Corruption


BY: JONATHAN S. TOBIN | JULY 27, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/27/as-ukrainians-defect-to-russia-we-should-ask-whether-our-billions-are-saving-democracy-or-aiding-corruption/

War in Ukraine: President Zelenskyy addresses Congress

The more we learn about Ukraine, the less it resembles the Jeffersonian democracy Biden tries to conjure up in his speeches on the subject.

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The first lady of Ukraine was in Washington last week to be feted by the Biden administration, Congress, and the corporate press. Olena Zelenska, the attractive and patriotically dressed wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was given the Jackie Kennedy/Michelle Obama treatment by fashion columnists while also helping to reinforce the message that Ukraine’s effort to defend itself against Russian aggression is a battle for democracy and the survival of the West. This is an easy story to tell a receptive American audience. Since the war began in February, American sympathy combined with the stiffer-than-expected struggle put up by Ukrainian forces and Zelensky’s deft public relations campaign has reinforced the message that the Kyiv government is a democracy whose defense is essential to Western security. 

Yet the question to be posed about this is not whether Russia and Putin are bad but whether Ukraine is the paragon of democracy Biden says it is.

Congress recently passed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine in May with bipartisan support. Grassroots Republicans and even portions of the Democratic base have been critical of the way Ukraine’s security has come to dictate national priorities. That $40 billion is likely to be only the first installment of a steady flow of aid to pay for the $10 billion per month that the war is costing Kyiv.

That’s what made the appearance of a story about Ukraine in The New York Times this past week, which showed a different side of Zelensky’s government, so significant. The story, titled “Zelenskyy Fires Two Top Law Enforcement Officials,” buried the lead. The Times emphasized the fact that this was the first government shakeup in Kyiv since the war started as well as the fact that one of the two people fired was a boyhood friend of Zelensky. But while that is true, the substance of the story was that the sympathy and support for the Russians among a not insignificant portion of the Ukrainian population and members of the security services has damaged the war effort.

An earlier story in the Times discussed how paranoia about potential Russian spies had spread throughout Ukrainian society. The latest dispatch made clear just how much of an issue this had become. It’s one thing to report about 200,000 spy allegations being submitted to Ukrainian authorities every month. Zelensky’s sacking of security measures made clear how “treason” cases have become something of an obsession for the Ukrainian government. 

Even more alarming is the fact that several hundred of these treason investigations involved security personnel. Many Ukrainian officials, including those who were employed by the prosecutor’s office, remained behind in Russian-occupied territory and are now working for Moscow.

Still, that partly explains the large number of Ukrainian personnel helping the Russians. But the way this vast security state has been empowered by the war to turn its malevolent gaze on Ukrainian citizens — whether guilty of sympathy for Moscow or not — is chilling. 

Previously, Ukraine was widely acknowledged to be as corrupt as the rest of the former Soviet Union, with a fledgling democratic system that was far from entirely free. Even after Zelensky became president, newspapers that were critical of his government were shut down. Since the war started, journalists have struggled to retain their ability to report freely and fairly. 

That the majority of Ukrainians want their country to remain independent is obvious. So is their willingness to fight to prevent their nation from falling under Putin’s thumb. But the ability of the Russians to get so many Ukrainians to sympathize with or aid their assault on Ukraine illustrates that what is going on is, in part, a civil war as well as a foreign invasion.

Yet equally true is the fact that the Ukrainian state that is being defended so bravely is still deeply flawed and possessed of attributes antithetical to democracy. Though some of its problems would be present in any country at war and under direct attack, the more we learn about Ukraine, the less it resembles the Jeffersonian democracy that Biden tries to conjure up in his speeches on the subject.

While sympathy for Ukraine and hostility to Russia is understandable, these are factors that ought to be taken into consideration if the United States is to undertake the kind of financial commitment in this war that is starting to remind us of the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or, at least, it should if Americans are to be permitted to have a debate about making such a dubious commitment.


Jonathan S. Tobin is a senior contributor to The Federalist, editor in chief of JNS.org, and a columnist for the New York Post. Follow him on Twitter at @jonathans_tobin.

Poll: Democratic Party Has Lowest Net Favorability Rating Compared to Eight Other Political Figures and Institutions


REPORTED BY KAY SMYTHE, REPORTER | May 16, 2022

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2022/05/16/hart-research-nbc-news-poll-democratic-party-net-favorability-rating-all-time-low/

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The Democratic Party has the lowest net favorability rating when compared to eight other political figures and institutions, according to an NBC News poll released Monday. Fifty percent of adult respondents to the NBC News poll reported having negative feelings about the Democratic Party, with only 31% saying they have positive feelings — a 19 percentage point net-negative rating. Just above the Democratic Party, with 48% total negative feelings, was Vice President Kamala Harris, according to the poll. (RELATED: Pelosi Says Biden Polls Poorly Because Americans Simply Don’t Know How Good He’s Been)

Almost 80% of the poll respondents were registered voters, which NBC stated is another warning sign for the Democrats as they head into the 2022 midterm elections. The results are the highest net-negative rating the Democratic Party has seen in 30 years of the survey being conducted, NBC reported.

The Democratic Party and Harris were ranked alongside Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Disney, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Supreme Court, the Republican Party, and former Presidents Joe Biden and Donald Trump, respectively. One thousand adults took part in the May poll, with 750 respondents being interviewed by cell phone. The margin of error is + or – 3.10%. The poll was conducted by Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies.

The poll also revealed that cost of living, jobs and the economy are the top concerns for Americans. Another poll found in March that Latino support for the Democratic Party was failing as inflation and the economy became a core concern for the demographic.

Russia Offers Ukraine List of Demands, Says It Will Stop Military Operations ‘in a Moment’ if Met


Reported By Richard Moorhead | March 7, 2022

Read more at https://www.westernjournal.com/russia-offers-ukraine-list-demands-says-will-stop-military-operations-moment-met/

Russia has released a list of four demands it’s calling preconditions for ending its invasion of Ukraine. A Kremlin spokesman identified the terms on Monday, according to Reuters.

First, Dmitry Peskov said, Ukraine must halt all military action.

Russian propaganda has consistently invoked the “demilitarization” of Ukraine as an objective of the invasion, demanding that one of the largest countries in Europe remain defenseless.

Second, Russia wants Ukraine to recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

Trending: Rep Waltz: Ukrainians Have Been Begging for US Stinger Missiles Since December, But Biden Held Off Until It Was Too Late

Russia forcibly annexed Crimea in 2014, seizing the region of southern Ukraine in response to growing pro-NATO and European Union sentiment in the former Soviet republic.

Third, Ukraine must recognize two regions of its territory as independent countries, following Russia’s recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic last month.

Pro-Russian secessionist groups control population centers within the two regions of Eastern Ukraine, where conflict has occurred since 2014. Such a move could lead to Russian annexation of Donetsk and Luhansk.

After Russian troops poured into Crimea in 2014, the region was briefly declared an “independent country” before its inhabitants supposedly voted to join Russia while facing the gun barrel of a Russian military occupation.

“We have also spoken about how they should recognize that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognize that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states,” Peskov told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Finally, Russia wants Ukraine to amend its constitution to bar the country from pursuing NATO membership.

“They should make amendments to the constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc,” Peskov said, according to Reuters.

“And that’s it. It will stop in a moment,” he said.

Related: Japan Moving to Rebuild Its Military in ‘Big Awakening’

Peskov said Ukraine was aware of the conditions. The list of demands was outlined as Russian and Ukrainian diplomats begin a new round of talks at the border of Belarus and Poland. Some Ukrainian leaders, such as former President Petro Poroshenko, have expressed doubt that negotiations will lead anywhere.

The terms, which undermine the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, are extremely unlikely to lead to a diplomatic agreement to end the conflict.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Richard Moorhead

Richard Moorhead is a conservative journalist, a graduate of Arizona State University, service member, and guitar player.

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