The Last Supper with Zelenski

Parisa Pasandepour
9 Min Read
The Last Supper with Zelenski

Last night with Zelensky

Zelensky says Ukraine is the next star of the European Union, but delays in allocating aid from the United States and the European Union weaken support for Kyiv. Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, said in a press conference in Kyiv, ‘We will not be defeated in the war against Russia, even if we don’t know when it will end.’ He also explicitly stated that the Ukrainian army needs to mobilize between 450,000 and 500,000 effective military personnel.

The President of Ukraine explained in a conversation with reporters that the issue is very sensitive and asked, ‘Where and from what sources can we obtain financial assistance?’ However, Zelensky claimed that his allies, the United States and Europe, will continue to support Ukraine.

In his public address at the end of 2023, Zelensky thanked the Ukrainian soldiers who have been on the front lines for almost two years and praised the great victory in the Black Sea against the Russian Navy, following months of naval blockade imposed by Moscow, by reviving part of the exports through the sea.

However, overall, after the failed counteroffensive in the summer, the Ukrainian army now finds itself in a cold winter with a new war and fewer weapons than expected, facing the Russian forces’ invasion in the eastern part of the country.

In response to reporters asking about the end of his presidency in March, Zelensky dismissed the possibility of holding elections during wartime. The President also joked about the European Union opening negotiations for Ukraine’s accession, which was approved last week. Referring to the EU flag behind him, he said Ukraine will be the next star on the EU flag.

شام آخر با زلنسکی

The shadow of Trump over Ukraine

Currently, the $60 billion aid package requested by the Biden administration to support Ukraine has been blocked by the Republican majority in Congress. Democratic and Republican leaders have said that Washington cannot approve new assistance until the end of the year, and both parties are still seeking a compromise.

Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Senate Democrats, told reporters that our negotiators will work diligently during the December and January holidays. Our goal is to get things done as soon as we return to work. However, the budgets that need to be allocated against Russia are becoming a political hurdle and a challenge between the two parties.

Meanwhile, the President of Ukraine admitted that if Donald Trump is re-elected as President of the United States in 2024, it could significantly change the outcome of the conflict and war. Zelensky acknowledged that if the next president’s policy towards Ukraine is different, whether colder or more sensible, I believe these signals will have a profound impact on the course of the war.

The challenge between leaders

Despite efforts to show unity, even Zelensky is not immune from division, and signs of friction between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Valery Zaluzhny, the Chief of the Armed Forces, are increasing to the point where, according to the national media, the Army Chief may be dismissed.

During the recent trip of the Ukrainian President to Washington, Zelensky received numerous promises from senior US officials, lawmakers from both parties, and President Biden himself. However, in reality, he returned empty-handed from this mission.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Washington and Brussels have been the largest providers of military and economic assistance to Kyiv, keeping both its armed forces and government active. Today, their failure in ensuring financial stability for Kyiv is evident, as Ukraine’s counterattack aimed at liberating the Russian-occupied territories suffered a defeat. Ukraine’s firepower was precisely at the moment when Moscow intensified its aerial attacks on the country’s infrastructure multiple times. This defeat coincides with the approaching end of winter.

There are movements within Ukraine to complicate the situation, as they desperately search for new forces to deploy to the front lines. Just a few days ago, Zelensky announced that Ukrainian military leaders intend to mobilize an additional 450,000 to 500,000 personnel for the armed forces, indicating an urgent need to find men to counter new Russian operations. If poorly managed, this could lead to severe social tensions. Overall, as Ukraine and its people approach the third year of conflict and war in 2024, it has the potential to fundamentally change the dynamics of the conflict.


مشاهده این مقاله به زبان فارسی

Share This Article
Master's Degree in International Relations from the Faculty of Diplomatic Sciences and International Relations, Genoa, Italy.