Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s Unmitigated Gall Should Not Be Tolerated

According to our global elites, supporting Ukraine is like saving democracy in Western Europe. This whole mess is becoming more like a tail wagging the cat. Bill Kristol and other neocons seem to believe that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zilenskyy is “admirable” because of his antics before the invasion of Ukraine. However, many of us recall him as a TV actor before he assumed the presidency. It seems that American and European dignitaries are able to enter the war zone without fear or violence.

It is becoming more evident that Ukraine is not a democracy. Zelenskyy took actions that would have been reserved for Putin and authoritarians. The former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was arrested in January and taken to Kyiv for treason. According to Reuters

Poroshenko (56) is under investigation for treason in connection to illegal coal sales that funded Russian-backed separatist fighters in 2014-15. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. Zelenskiy was accused by his party of recklessly trying to silence political opposition.

Officials from the Obama administration selected Poroshenko as Ukraine’s leader after the Maidan Revolution of 2014. An infamous tape of Geoffrey Pyatt, Ukrainian Ambassador and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland revealing their interference in Ukraine’s political affairs was leaked. While the world was focused on Nuland’s statement that “F*ck Europe”, the real substance of the conversation allowed Russia’s Vladimir Putin to claim that the United States was manipulating politics.

In March Zelenskyy banned 11 opposition parties and combined all private media outlets under one state-run entity. According to the Spectator

The announcement that Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky banned 11 opposition parties, including the pro-Russian “Opposition-Platform For Life”, which holds 44 seats within the 450-member Ukrainian parliament, and has condemned the Russian invasion, may have been the leader’s first serious mistake since Putin’s brutal invasion.

Zelenskyy combined the decree suspending activities of the parties, which was decided by Ukraine’s national defense and security council with a ban against private TV stations, thereby merging them all into one state-run television channel. This could be his second major error.

Zelenskyy’s actions erased a key selling point that attracted sympathy and support from other democratic countries. It blurred the lines for Ukrainians looking to live in a country that offers diverse media and free elections as well as the freedom of the opposition to express themselves.

Zelenskyy, however, seemed content to push the United States for more monetary and military assistance despite Congress having approved $60 billion in funding. This is more than the annual defense budget of Ukraine and equal to many years of funding for war in Afghanistan. He seems to be able to name a “speaker who promotes narratives that are consonant with Russian propagandism” which includes U.S citizens.

The list includes Glenn Greenwald, Tulsi Gabbard’s former congresswoman, Senator Rand Paul, as well as 25 other Americans. Fox News host Tucker Carlson was left off the list, a Fox News host who has repeatedly criticized the administration’s approach towards Ukraine and what he considers an unnecessary escalation of relations with Putin.

Rep. Victoria Sparks (R.Ind.) is not a member of Congress. She is a Ukrainian-born member in Congress. Sparks, a Ukrainian-born member of Congress, has called upon Zelenskyy “to stop playing politics and theatre” and “start legislating to better support his military forces and local governments.” Sparks is a relative in Ukraine and has been there six times since the conflict started. Sparks also asked Biden to develop a strategy for the aid, and urged Congress to “establish proper supervision of critical infrastructure and weapons delivery.” Despite his campaign promises, Zelnskyy has not done much to curb corruption in Ukraine.

America’s leaders should tell Zelenskyy that he can keep his censorious remarks at home. He is the bread and butter of this nation right now. The least he can do to show respect is to be kind. It will be fiercely debated if Congress gives billions to Ukraine and puts us in direct conflict against a nuclear-armed Russia. These debates should be focused on the best actions to achieve security and prosperity for American citizens. Nothing Zelenskyy’s Ministry of Truth (eerily titled the “Center for Countering Disinformation”) has to do with that will change it.