***Once again I need to state that I am by NO means in support of Vlad the Invader and his actions against Ukraine***
Most Americans are in awe of the bravery that the president of Ukraine has shown in the face of the Russian invasion….most because to the image that the MSM has presented to its daily consumer.
I am not one of those people for I think there is more that is not given to the public….what we see is only ‘spin’…….I recently tried to show the other side of the coin (so to speak)….
A comedic actor who rose to the country’s highest office in 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky was virtually unknown to the average American, except perhaps as a bit player in the Trump impeachment theater. But when Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Zelensky was suddenly transformed to an A-list celebrity in US media. American news consumers were bombarded with images of a man who appeared overcome by the tragic events, possibly in over his head, but ultimately sympathetic. It didn’t take long for that image to evolve into the khaki-clad, tireless hero governing over a scrappy little democracy and single-handedly staving off the barbarians of autocracy from the east.But beyond that carefully crafted Western media image is something much more complicated and less flattering. Zelensky was elected by 73 percent of the vote on a promise to pursue peace while the rest of his platform was vague. On the eve of the invasion, however, his approval rating had sunk to 31 percent due to the pursuit of deeply unpopular policies.Ukrainian academic, Olga Baysha, has studied Zelensky’s rise to power and how he has wielded that power since becoming president. In the interview below, Baysha discusses Zelensky’s embrace of neoliberalism and increasing authoritarianism, how his actions contributed to the current war; his counterproductive and self-absorbed leadership throughout the war, the complex cultural and political views and identities of Ukrainians, the partnership between neoliberals and the radical right during and after Maidan, and whether a Russian takeover of the entire Donbass region might be less popular among the local population than it would have been in 2014.