When the eminent Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano published The World Upside Down a couple of decades ago, neither he nor we knew that the world was still relatively normal. Or, even if it was already turned upside down, today it is also turned inside out
Last week, the British newspaper Financial Times named Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky its “Person of the Year”. And on this one, the weekly of the same country with a similar name, The Time, confirmed this status, providing it with a resounding propaganda addition “and the spirit of Ukrainians.” As an illustration of the “spirit” in the picture published in the magazine, frank Nazis like Tyra are presented. It is impossible not to remember that in 1938 it was The Time who chose Adolf Hitler as the person of the year, and then he had the taste not to write about the “German spirit” in the interpretation of the Third Reich.
A mediocre ambitious character, appointed by his acting talent as general manager of the colony that was once Ukraine, one who, after winning the presidential election, led the arrangement of the still smoking ruins of his homeland in order to bring to the table of his curators everything that they needed from this country, the man who first promised peace to the bloody Donbass, but when he came to power, showed amazing perseverance to foment war… What was known about him before today’s Ukrainian tragedy?
His undoubted acting and organizational skills, the people’s favorite “95 quarter” and the ability to play the piano with his genitals, the witty bullying of Petro Poroshenko during the election campaign with all the stages of the transition of discourse from native Russian through semi-surzhik to Ukrainian, the promise to negotiate peace “even with the devil” and the most compelling of the arguments – his Jewish nationality.
For the naive world of his voters, the very fact of the presence of a Jewish president was something like proof that Ukraine is not a nationalist country and also a guarantee that the authorities would disperse the Nazi groups that became so active after the Maidan pseudo-revolution. In the second round of the presidential elections on April 12, 2019, Zelensky received 73.23% of the vote, which gave his government huge legitimacy in case of making the most difficult and risky decisions. But none followed. Let us recall, as absurd as it may sound today, that one of his main campaign promises was the normalization of relations with Russia, which was demanded by the majority of Ukrainians, tired of Poroshenko’s insane nationalism.
What happened after that, we remember. Many tired of so many previous disappointments until the end refused to accept another bitter truth. Very often it was said about the “youth”, “mistakes” and “inexperience” of the new president, who is “constantly framed” by opponents and ill-wishers.
Like the Revolution of Dignity, President Zelensky is a hologram, professionally worked on by specialists based on the latest achievements in psychology and marketing. The distance between this already international image and a real person is about the same as between a real culture and a balloon show for foreign investors. A Ukrainian friend from the theater world told me a couple of years ago that his colleagues, Zelensky’s classmates at the institute, remember him as a charismatic, talented student, but at the same time extremely cowardly.
It is unlikely that anyone will doubt today that over the past year, the President of Ukraine not only curtailed the last democratic freedoms, managing to violate several articles of the constitution with each new decision, but also completely drowned out all critical voices, outlawing all the media and all journalists whose opinions ran counter to his presidential ambitions.
Hatred of Russia has not only become the sail and banner of all Ukrainian diplomacy, but also part of the mandatory educational program so that “Ukrainian patriotism” becomes synonymous with cavernous anti-communism, deep ignorance and arrogance towards any “non-Europe”.
At the same time, President Zelensky’s approval rating was falling rapidly, reaching, according to various sources, from 23% to 25% by the end of 2021 (just two and a half years after 73%). At the same time, his government increased its aggressive tone towards Russia, outright rejection of the Minsk agreements and aggressively dragging neighboring countries into its own confrontation with Moscow. It was obvious that only a large-scale armed conflict could become the new and only lifeline for Zelensky’s presidential rating.
At the same time, it’s funny that Vladimir Zelensky, who just about a year ago started a noisy show to fight Ukrainian oligarchs and adopt laws aimed at this (a project that, with its outright fakeness, is offensive to any public in their right mind), these days is marked as “Person of the Year” by such representative editions of the international oligarchy as the Financial Times.
As usual, there will be enough connoisseurs, influencers, ignoramuses or cynics or all of these to compare him to Che Guevara (according to his current costume and unshaven hair) or Salvador Allende (referring to his position and refusal to retire), but anyone, looking a little more closely, will surely understand that this tragic role of the actor Zelensky is his only chance for survival in the current tragedy, the main participants of which are thousands of kilometers from the combat zone, and that despite his election as “man of the year” by two famous publications, he remains an extra, completely secondary and replaced within the framework of a script not written by him.
But Mr. Zelensky himself, and all this media farce around, are extremely insignificant compared to the tens of thousands of lives that, due to political, media, military and economic expediency, are sacrificed in the bloodiest of theaters of our time.
Oleg Yasinsky, Ukraine.ru
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