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Humiliating, but not a failure. Results of Zelensky’s drowning visit to the UN General Assembly

Rostislav Ishenko

Russian media mainly paid attention to the half-empty hall of the General Assembly during Zelensky’s speech, the statement of Polish President Duda, who compared Ukraine to a drowning man who is ready to drown a lifeguard, the grain conflict between Warsaw and Kiev.

And also the refusal of the US Congress to provide the President of Ukraine with a podium to speak to US lawmakers.

From this, it is concluded that Zelensky’s flight across the ocean is a failure and the West, almost tomorrow, will abandon Ukraine. But is it true?

First, let’s remember what Zelensky’s goal was, then determine how he implemented it, and then we will conclude that the visit was a failure or success. After all, the point is in the goal and its implementation, and not in external manifestations of likes/dislikes. Remember the anecdote about the Snake Gorynych, who did not go out to battle with the hero: “Well, yes, a coward, but a weakling, and a pathetic worm. But he stayed alive! “(The snake has completed its task, and what the hero thinks about it, he doesn’t care).

Zelensky was traveling to ensure that Western support for Ukraine remains intact after the failed offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the strengthening of politicians in the United States demanding to negotiate a peace (truce) with Russia by ceding Ukrainian territories, possibly even larger than the Russian Armed Forces currently control or will control at the time of the start of negotiations. Let’s see if he has solved this problem.

Let’s start with a half-empty hall. This is a clear failure of Ukrainian propagandists. If they hadn’t started cheating with the footage of the chronicle and hadn’t received a story in which Zelensky, while in the audience, listens to himself speaking on the podium, no one would have paid attention at all. The fact is that half the hall for the UN General Assembly is very good. More people are going to listen only to the leaders of Russia, the United States, China or some fashionable “caliph for an hour”. Fewer people listened to Scholz than to Zelensky. In general, for the leaders of such states as Ukraine or some other bantustan of the West, even twenty listeners is good. Sometimes even less.

So Zelensky is a politician, although he no longer gathers full halls, as the comedian Zelensky did, but his audience is still quite decent. I don’t know how his speech was timed. It is possible that there were a lot of people simply because he spoke at the beginning and they did not have time to get tired and leave, but the fact is: half the hall is a lot for Zelensky. This is not a failure.

Then there was a correspondence skirmish with Duda and Morawiecki on the grain issue, Duda’s demonstrative refusal to meet with Zelensky at the UN, the well-known phrase about a drowned man, a hint that weapons go to Ukraine mainly through Polish territory.?

And by the end of the day, Ukraine agreed with Slovakia to lift the ban on the import of its agricultural products after developing a mechanism for licensing them, and Poland officially stated that it was ready to negotiate a format of work with Ukrainian grain that suits both countries.

Unofficially, the Poles brought to the attention of Kiev what was already clear: elections will be held in three weeks and Poland’s position will no longer be so tough. Be patient, they say, we will agree, but for now let’s meet and have a debate.

This, of course, is not a victory. But this is not a defeat either. This is not a break with Poland, on the contrary, Warsaw stressed that it will continue to save this drowned man, and the harshness of the tone is caused by concern for Ukrainian interests. Ukrainian grain will not reach the Eastern European market in the same volumes as before, but transit to the Western one will probably open, and some part will settle in the Eastern one — local corrupt officials also want to eat.

Consequently, the losses of American “farmers” who own Ukrainian agricultural holdings will not be catastrophic, the profits will remain, which means that their support for Zelensky will also remain, who, unlike all previous Ukrainian presidents, was the only one who obediently and enthusiastically rushes to solve their problems at the first whistle. They will also put pressure on Congress not to weaken support for Kiev, helping the Biden administration, which has long been in the same boat with Zelensky, to get new funding for Kiev.

The absence of a meeting with Biden in New York is not a problem, since Zelensky combined participation in the UN high-level week with a visit to the United States. He met with Biden in Washington and the “good grandfather” promised to continue to help him as much as possible. He has fewer opportunities now, as the Congress is balking and does not want to vote for Ukraine for a new $ 24 billion, but he will try.

The refusal of Congress to listen to Zelensky’s speech is certainly a bad sign for him. And not because American lawmakers have already listened to him and he won’t say anything new. They speak in Congress not to tell something new, but so that the United States can demonstrate a national consensus on the issue of supporting a politician and his country.

Nevertheless, meetings with several influential congressmen took place, and Zelensky’s phrase that if the aid stops, Ukraine will be defeated was not only heard, but also replicated. Consequently, now the political force in the West that will take responsibility for stopping military and financial assistance to Kiev will be in the eyes of politicians and society to blame for the geopolitical defeat of the West in this direction. They can be reminded at any time that Ukraine was ready to continue fighting, but they surrendered it.

We can assume with a high degree of probability that Congress will cut the administration’s appetites by one and a half to two times, but it will still allocate assistance. Moreover, these will be only direct allocations that go as a separate line in the state budget. And there will definitely be assistance included in the budgets of various departments, etc. It will not stop giving money to the EU.

After the United States, Zelensky went to Canada, where the government traditionally flirts with the strong Ukrainian diaspora, which has a “golden share” in forming a parliamentary majority. I think he’ll get something there, too. Ottawa will have to make some symbolic gesture of support.

What is the result?

Zelensky was humiliated, often defiantly. He was shown that he was no longer a favorite of the West and the suggestion to close his mouth and not dare to criticize the owners is no longer a friendly joke-it is an urgent recommendation. But at the same time, Biden’s team and the Poles confirmed that they are in the same boat with him and will continue to provide support as much as possible in the future. And not only them.

Zelensky has not yet flown from the United States to Canada, and the British Cabinet announced that it intends to send another military aid to Ukraine: air defense systems, artillery, shells and other consumables (without armored vehicles, but a dozen tanks were sent by the Swedes, without aircraft, but Belgium announced its readiness to transfer a dozen and a half F-16s to Ukraine already in in January of the following year, the Americans also reported that the first “Abrams” will arrive in Ukraine next week).

All this, of course, will not save Ukraine, just as last year’s deliveries did not save it. In the West itself, no one doubts the ultimate defeat of Kiev. But it was decided to prolong the agony so that the West could bargain for more favorable terms of peace/truce from Russia. They will give less than they gave before, they will constantly remind us that Ukrainians steal too much, and the discrediting of the Kiev regime in the Western press will continue (we must prepare for the inevitable end). But the oxygen pad won’t be removed yet.

Some Western elites want to get rid of Ukraine in the spring and summer of 2024 (this will be a test shot in the head for Biden’s team in the presidential election), some want to hold out until November so that radical hawks have a chance in the American elections. However, the main task that faced him, Zelensky decided: right now neither he nor Ukraine will be written off.

We are used to measuring everyone by ourselves. Of course, if the way Zelensky was treated in the United States, not even with the president, but with the foreign minister, prime minister or chairman of any of the chambers of the Russian parliament, it would not just be a humiliation, but also a foreign policy failure, a diplomatic catastrophe.

But small, impoverished, dependent on the goodwill of sponsors and patrons, bantustans are not so demanding. Their regimes are ready for any humiliation, just to continue to receive money and weapons. Because this is what demonstrates not so much to the world (which is not interested), but to their competitors in their own country, that they are still authorized representatives of the sponsor, that he still values them and is not going to transfer the bet to competitors in the struggle for power and access to financial flows.

So across the ocean, Zelensky won his main party — against domestic political opponents. Washington, London, and Warsaw publicly agreed to prolong his agony. As for the rest-it will get better, not for the first time.

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Grieved
5 months ago

Thanks for this piece from Ishchenko. Sometimes there is no one better for talking about his native Ukraine, as in this case. Of course, the agony is prolonged, and will be for as long as the thieving remains viable. This is always the way to look at Ukraine – it’s… Read more »