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Top Ukrainian officials don’t believe Zelensky’s rhetoric – Guardian

Politicians are privately critical of what they perceive as unrealistic hopes of total victory, the outlet has said

High-ranking Ukrainian officials privately consider Vladimir Zelensky’s statements about returning to the country’s 1991 borders to be unrealistic, and only hope for the country’s survival, The Guardian reported on Friday.

According to the outlet, there is growing criticism towards Zelensky in Ukraine for maintaining “unrealistic hopes of total victory,” including the return of all former Ukrainian territories.

Zelensky’s roadmap to resolve the crisis, which he has been promoting since 2022, calls for a complete and unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces from all territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders, for Moscow to pay reparations, and for a war crimes tribunal to be held.

Moscow has described Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’ as an “absolutely hollow” ultimatum that is “divorced from reality.”

Even senior officials in Ukraine privately give a more cautious definition of victory, the article noted.

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“Publicly, I support what the president says,” the report cited one of the officials as saying. “Unpublicly, I think we should survive as an independent western state that has the possibility of development.”

The outlet also pointed to growing anger in the country towards the West “for not doing enough, fast enough” for Ukraine. A government minister told the outlet that the US Congress “will never be forgiven by the Ukrainian people” for the “endless” delays in voting on the latest round of military aid.

There is also growing discontent with Zelensky’s performance; his presidential term expired on May 20, raising questions over his legitimacy as head of state, according to the report. Several separate sources told the outlet that Zelensky “obsessively” studies his ratings, which continue to drop.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Moscow is ready to engage in peace negotiations with Ukraine. However, any future agreement “will have to take into account the realities on the ground,” he said.


May 24, 2024 at 08:31PM

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