JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s TV President Is Dangerously Pro-Russian; Volodymyr Zelensky could become the country’s next real-life leader. If his show is any guide, Ukrainians should be worried.” – Foreign Policy/ Alexander J. Motyl

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… Unforgivable is the absence from [Zelensky’s television] show of Russia or … Putin. In its alternate universe, Crimea and Donbass are not occupied. There is no war. … no deaths. … no mention of Russian attempts to quash Ukrainian independence …. suggest[ing] either … Zelensky, who serves as the show’s executive producer, has no idea how to deal with a very real existential threat to Ukraine or, far worse, that he doesn’t believe that there is one. At best … Zelensky would be prone to serious mistakes in his relations with Putin; at worst, he might be willing to make concessions that would hollow out Ukrainian sovereignty. … It’s impossible to understand Ukraine’s war in the eastern Donbass region – the inspiration for the show’s own civil conflicts – without an appreciation for Putin’s invasion and annexation of Crimea; his support for separatists in Ukraine’s southeast; his continued basing of several thousand soldiers there; his stationing of tens of thousands of Russian troops, tanks, and artillery units along Ukraine’s border; and his blockade of Ukraine’s ports on the Sea of Azov. …  ignoring all these facts, the show adopts Putin’s narrative – one that he began expounding years ago and then perfected during the Euromaidan revolution. Russia was forced to occupy Crimea and invade southeastern Ukraine, he insists, in order to save the country from the supposedly fascist junta …. The show effectively says Russians aren’t to be blamed for any of the country’s problems; blame Ukrainians, it argues, more specifically Ukrainian patriots who think they can rely on the West. Throughout his five years in office, Poroshenko has consistently rejected Putin’s line and striven to make Ukraine a viable nation and state. In large measure, he has succeeded. … if Servant of the People is any guide, Zelensky may well roll back these achievements and effectively bring Ukraine back into the so-called Russian world. …”

Click here for: “Ukraine’s TV President Is Dangerously Pro-Russian; Volodymyr Zelensky could become the country’s next real-life leader. If his show is any guide, Ukrainians should be worried.” – Foreign Policy/ Alexander J. Motyl

[featured image is file photo]

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia