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President Zelensky: Stop Being Wishy Washy About Ukraine’s Survival – OpEd

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President Zelensky, this is about the threat of a Russian invasion that President Biden is warning against.

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On one hand you expressed appreciation to the United States and its partners for providing your country with “effective support.”

But on the other hand, you have said you do not expect any Russian invasion anytime soon. In fact, you seem to doubt President Biden’s story and even asked him for proof.

Different fates await you and your country depending on which way it goes.

There is a safe way out of this dilemma for you. Be forewarned it is iconoclastic. But, before identifying it, allow me to review the background.

Here is what President Biden says lies in store for you:

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Russia may invade at any moment. At first Biden was focused on a likely land invasion over your eastern border. Lately he’s talked of an air attack on Kyiv to kick off the invasion. He says a bloody and destructive war would ensue. People on the ground would be killed indiscriminately.

What’s at stake is the killing of Ukrainians, the ruination of Ukrainian cities, and the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure.

But that’s not all. Biden’s alleged war would create an enormous humanitarian crisis.

Reflect upon what happened in Donbas since 2014. It is widely understood that the conflict there has claimed about 14,000 lives. The United Nations reports that in just 3 years of conflict 2 million Ukrainians were displaced from their homes; 100 thousand were forced into asylum in other countries. Given the population size of all Ukraine, the impending crisis could be more than five times worse.

Now, also consider exactly what the “effective support” is for which you credit President Biden — and what it isn’t. There’ll be no troops to help save your country. All you’ll see is the imposition of more sanctions on Russia (the last ones didn’t accomplish much) and you’ll get more weapons. But where are those weapons going to get you?

Do you really believe that you could win a war against Russia and its vast might? If you think so, you might want to reassess that conclusion. Russia has the capability to turn most of your country into a big Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in just a few minutes.

Why risk that or other dire consequences? You’re not completely convinced of Biden’s invasion story. You publically asked for proof but apparently received none. Why don’t you honestly reject the invasion threat and be done with it?

The invasion story is unsubstantiated. That does not mean that an invasion will never occur. I don’t know if it will. But for now the story appears to be a fabrication.

But to what end? There is reason to believe that the invasion threat was fabricated for reasons having little to do with Ukraine. Some believe that domestic politics in the United States is the driving force.

Here is the narrative: US elections in November will determine which party controls Congress. Dissatisfaction with President Biden is increasing as is unrest about a litany of domestic issues. Potentially all this can impact which way the election goes.

The consequences of that are vast. The fates and fortunes of many politically or financially powerful people are at risk. There is no reason to expect that the protection of or quest for power will proceed in a principled way.

The crisis over Russia’s invasion plans can be useful for both sides of the US election contest. It allows Biden to project an image of toughness in the face of growing domestic beliefs that he is weak. It gives both sides opportunities for campaign contributions from domestic industries that thrive on world tension. And it diverts public attention from the domestic failures of Washington..

The unsubstantiated invasion story is coming from Biden and a bipartisan group that apparently benefit from the sparing with Russia. Don’t you see what is happening here? You are being used as bait in the fight. Your public statements seem to indicate that this crisis is all about you. But it isn’t.

No matter which side wins in the US-Russia sparing, I suspect you will lose. It will be your people, your cities, your infrastructure that will be sacrificed on behalf of American political interests.

What’s more, these are not even the interests of the majority of Americans. More than half of American citizens are already aware that our political system needs improvement.

Contrary to the interests of the political elites, the American population has its own set of priorities. Pew Research released a 2022 report on which issues Americans want their government to prioritize. Ukraine did not even make the list.

Yet, your country’s interests are already being compromised by the invasion story. Look what happened when President Biden advanced his claim that Russia would stage an air attack on Kyiv. The result? It set off a panic among many foreign embassies. They got out of town quickly.

Previously you had called on the West to tone down the rhetoric about the unsubstantiated Russian invasion plans. You were justly concerned that it could create panic. You were right about that. No one listened to you. You didn’t matter. You are just bait. The American politicians that are emboldening you to prepare for a fight with Russia do not have your best interests at heart. It is high time for you to realize that.

Don’t be a fool, President Zelensky. There is no apparent way for you to win anything if Russia really does stage a full scale invasion. Meanwhile your kowtowing to President Biden is perpetuating the fabricated invasion threat that isn’t doing you any good. Isn’t it time for you to stop and introduce some inescapable realism into the discourse?

But how can you get out of the spot you’ve gotten into? In that regard you have something in common with President Biden. How is he going to back away from the alleged invasion that never (to date) happened?

Here’s the iconoclastic way out for you: Offer your surrender to Russia preemptively. Act before an attack. If Russia honestly was not planning an attack she will have no reason to accept the offer. That should end the story. If Biden then persists with the invasion tale, he could be easily discredited.

But if Russia admits that an attack was planned, then what? The US and Nato would proceed to inflict the promised draconian sanctions and give you more weapons. In the end everything would be the same as if Russia had launched a real attack — except that your people would be alive, your cities would be untouched by destruction, and your infrastructure would be intact. And the additional weapons? You could sell them.

There’s really little risk in this for you. Russia is not trying to impose a political ideology, economic system, or religion. It is not seeking to harm your people. President Putin claims just wanting to be free of a possible threat from malicious Nato weaponry on its border with Ukraine.

And for President Biden? How can he back away from his invasion story? There’s a good way and a bad way. The good way would be to negotiate a settlement with Putin.

The bad way might be horrific. Remember that he suddenly came up with the notion of an air attack on Kyiv? What would stop him from launching a false flag attack on the city? Citing his earlier warning, Biden could blame it on Putin. The likely objective of the attack would be to get Ukraine to retaliate against Russia.

If done by missiles it would be hard to identify the actual source of the attack. Either side could fabricate satellite images. Those supplied by the US or Nato would be more likely believed. Russia’s easily could be discredited, given the build-up Biden’s given the world about an invasion.

Don’t even give that a chance of happening, President Zelensky. Cut out the wishy washiness. Be a survivor. Protect your country. Send your surrender offer over to Putin right away — before it’s too late!

William Dunkerley

William Dunkerley is a media business analyst and consultant based in New Britain, Connecticut, USA. He works extensively with media organizations in Russia and other post-communist countries, and has advised government leaders on strategies for building press freedom and a healthy media sector. He is a Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow.

2 thoughts on “President Zelensky: Stop Being Wishy Washy About Ukraine’s Survival – OpEd

  • February 19, 2022 at 4:07 am
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    That Zelensky should concede to Russia and that NATO will then give him weaponry that Ukraine can just sell on, is not viable, but the worse offense is ignoring the actual build-up of forces and Putin’s demands, mixed messages and disinformation. Really who that isn’t seditious will cite the line from Russia’s press as if it was not Kremlin-controlled?

    Reply
  • March 15, 2022 at 10:36 pm
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    Great analogy. Spot on. There’s plenty of foolish reasons why he won’t take this great advice.

    Reply

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