We Come Not to Praise Zelensky, but to Bury Him.

Old adversaries, when they meet again, Are as familiar as two old friends… Wide Mouth Mason, from “Sugarcane”.

“I hate stupidity, but what I hate even more is when people actually brag about it.”

Bill Maher, from “When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden”

There’s a sort of stink that surrounds Volodymyr Zelensky these days, and follows him wherever he goes. The miasma of failure, surely, since The Great Counteroffensive of 2023 turned out to be a military success like…well, like playing the President on television is like being the President in real life. Which is to say, not at all like a military success. But it’s more than that. What accompanies Zelensky these days is the stink of the walking dead, politically speaking.

And you could actually see it coming pretty far out; first there were gentle criticisms of what a grifter he is, not only always asking for money but downright acting as if he was entitled to expect it from you, as if he believed that guff about Ukraine being the front line of defense of western democracy. Ukraine is actually about as much like a functioning democracy as a…I can’t actually think of an appropriately ridiculous comparison, but suffice it to say a country that puts off elections with the absurd excuse that elections inspire disunity and the country really needs unity right now, even s’posing it is enforced unity, is not a democracy. That’s not really as stinging a criticism as it might appear, because the western countries which are supposed to be the models of modern democracy are actually not much like democracies, either, to be fair.

Anyway, after another of his public appearances, in which he grunted like Vin Diesel with a speech impediment and demanded more money and ever-more-exotic weapons, a few skeptics might say, “You know, every time I see that guy, he’s demanding more money. You’d think he would be a little bit grateful for the billions we’ve already given him.” But the mainstream media continued to lavish uncritical attention on him, and his critics mostly held their tongues.

Just as an aside, Zelensky comes across as a steroid muscle-head for a couple of reasons; one, he’s an actor, and he’s playing a role. Two, his English is laboured and not very good. He was not only eloquent, he was compelling when he spoke Russian – would you like to see? Here he is, introducing a couple of guys from the popular Russian TV series ‘Kadyetsva’, singing a completely forgettable pop song while accompanied by leggy eye-candy girls pretending to play guitars. Russian is Zelensky’s mother tongue, although now he affects to hate everything Russian. And leaving your roots behind is perfectly okay, provided you are successful at reinventing yourself. Zelensky is not.

Anyway, let’s not wander too far. So, first gentle criticism. Then, a dramatic drop in public appearances with foreign leaders. Zelensky was the public face of Ukraine, and apparently willing to travel anywhere, anytime so he could get hold of the microphone and advertise the country’s need for more money to thrash Russia. The I’m-so-over-Zelensky moment most remember is that photo from the NATO summit, in which Zelensky was left completely alone by all the dignitaries, standing around in his Fidel Castro fatigues and looking like a spare prick at a wedding. I’m still trying to be fair, and it’s likely he was just unoccupied for a minute or two while his missus was chatting with some other dignitary’s wife about where to buy a diamond-crusted back-scratcher or some other essential item. But there was definitely a backing-away from the previous Zelenskymania, in which he was compared favourably to Churchill and his countrymen were rated the fiercest warriors since the Aztecs, and venues such as the UN General Assembly, the US Congress and the UK Parliament vied for the honour of being addressed by his anthropoid monotone, washing him in the comforting waves of ovation after ovation. How are the mighty fallen!

That’s because Ukraine is losing. The one thing the USA and UK – Ukraine’s most vocal cheerleaders, although the whole of Europe and most of the allies have rummaged through their treasuries to see what could be given to Ukraine – will not forgive is losing a war they have assigned you to fight. There’s lots of reasons for that, but a rilly, rilly big one is that winners get to write the history of the fight, and losers get to be – eventually – investigated for their conduct of it. And Ukraine’s conduct of the war, even considering the embedded presence of foreign intelligence agencies in Kuh-yiv giving it advice on general dirty tricks, is a target-rich environment for historians and Special Commissions, although the latter are just as often convened to ensure evidence never sees the light of day as they are to expose it.

Which brings us, fairly quickly, up to now and the ongoing power struggle between Zelensky and his ‘Iron General’, Valeriy Zaluzhny. A great sitrep published at Simplicius’s Garden of Knowledge provides rich detail on context, which seems to revolve around the issue of a general mobilization in Ukraine which withdraws nearly all exemptions, and is meant to come up with another half-million soldiers for the front. It includes an alleged phone intercept log of Zaluzhny’s conversations with such administration heavyweights as Syrski and Podolyak, and in which he allegedly refers to Zelensky using such pejoratives as ‘Krivoy Rog imbecile’ (for Zelensky’s hometown), and those which ridicule his physical stature, such as ‘Frodo’ and ‘Stuart Little’. Who ever imagined a rough hulk whose head would not look out of place sticking out of the turf at Easter Island, with a face like a boiled ham, could be such a cosmopolitan comedian?

I have to admit, I laughed. Which was very immature of me, since I have no excuses in today’s neverending celebration of wokeness for not knowing the importance of self-esteem and the damaging effect wrought by hurtful epithets. Zelensky is in a sad place right now, and he needs support rather than ridicule, although Europe’s latest gift of $54 Billion ought to console him somewhat. And I apologize in advance, because that is just going to make me laugh all over again, considering Ukraine has told its benefactors nothing at all about how it intends to spend this loot and considering it is generally ranked as the most corrupt country in Europe.

As of Saturday, neither President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office nor the Ukrainian finance ministry have disclosed details of how the funds will be spent. However, statements by EU authorities, Ukrainian lawmakers and diplomats have identified key areas of concern…

European leaders and policymakers assure readers that the funds are intended for stabilization of Ukraine’s economy to head off inflation, to pay for rebuilding and to set Ukraine up for future EU membership. But it is important to recognize here that those priorities are only what Europe would like to see. It’s already committed to the funding, although I suppose it could be argued that it is subject to annual review over four years, and could be cut off if misuse became too blatant – a modification for which the EU could thank Viktor Orban, although they never will. The aforementioned ‘areas of concern’, in descending order, are (1) Paying state salaries and pensions. Interestingly, this would have been the one I would have identified as least likely to be diverted to the wrong pockets, as it is allegedly earmarked for ‘…teachers, doctors, nurses, civil servants and other public-sector employees’. But now that I look at it, call me cynical, but I can see a lot of it going to the vague-sounding ‘civil servants and other public-sector employees’, meaning ‘members of the Rada and their families’. Politicians everywhere are staunch believers in the ‘pay yourself first’ maxim. (2) Ensuring smooth power and water supplies, and keeping other public services running. (3) Supporting the currency, and (4) Safety net for foreign investments in Ukraine. I think most of us would agree the last three, being entirely discretionary, are purpose-built for non-accountability and open invitations for graft and patronage, one last supernova of hedonistic spending before Ukraine folds up like a wood-and-canvas World War I biplane. Bye-bye, money. I suppose we should not be surprised that the USA, upon observing that the Europeans were going to go ahead with The Big Gift, promptly withdrew all serious effort on their own, and are scheduled to vote on approving funds for Israel without the attached Ukrainian package. Let Europe do it.

So now the intertubes are abuzz with gossip about Zaluzhny’s building of a political faction to seize power from Zelensky. What would he do with it? Zaluzhny would make a good governor like a diaper would make a good crash helmet – he would not be an improvement on Zelensky, and I don’t think I need to amplify further on his shortcomings in leadership applications other than military. Zaluzhny is not a diplomat. Which he will probably discover quickly if the aforementioned gossip is accurate, and he has indeed accepted a position as Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Kingdom. That’s according to Rada Deputy Yevgeny Shevchenko, and I cannot pretend to guess how reliable the information might be; but here is a translation of the pertinent paragraph, courtesy of Moscow Exile.

“Deputy of the Supreme Rada of the Ukraine Yevgeny Shevchenko claims that the Commander-in-Chief Armed Forces of the Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny has agreed to leave as an ambassador to the UK. This is reported by TASS. The Rada Deputy stressed that Zaluzhny would most likely go to the UK. In Shevchenko’s opinion, people who have been sent as ambassadors go into “political retirement and never come back”. He argues that if Zaluzhny still decides not to go to Britain, he will have a high chance of succeeding in politics after his retirement. Shevchenko added that the resignation of the AFU commander-in-chief can be expected around 8 February, “give or take a couple of days”. Before that, former Deputy Minister for temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons of Ukraine Georgy Tuka said that the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has not yet dismissed Zaluzhny because of the negative reaction of the West, but will still bring his plan to an end. Earlier, the Supreme Rada warned that Zaluzhnyy’s dismissal would split the Ukraine.”

Obviously I disagree with any assessment that Zaluzhny would have ‘a high chance of succeeding in politics’ at any point in his career – he chose a military career because he is unsuited to politics, and presumably better at soldiering than he would have been as a mechanic or a university professor. He’s not stupid by any means, but all his public appearances to date suggest he lacks both the language capability and the mental agility to act as the nation’s top executive.

And who would that leave, waiting in the wings? Nobody.

Take a minute to think about it. None of Zelensky’s coterie of drama queens, featherheads and con-men have anything like the chops to be The King. I have not heard even a peep about Yulia Tymoshenko attempting a comeback, and you know she sees the opportunity. I could see Poroshenko trying it on, but he remains deeply unpopular owing to the train-wreck presidency he previously masterminded, to say nothing of his being the first of two in a row to lose to the Russians after prancing about in military garb and confidently promising victory; he could not get elected lifeguard in a car wash.

Leaving the country with a leadership vacuum that could suck the Enterprise out of orbit. Did I mention broke and owing more money than any future generations of Ukrainians could ever hope to pay back? Lost its previous major trade partner, with whom it is currently at war, while its trade with Europe not only never came close, but is subject to restrictions to ensure it will not upset domestic markets? Let’s see…if ‘hopeless’ were a country, which one would it be?

Not Russia, whose economic growth in 2023 outstripped all its previous G8 partners, now snootily known as the G7 again. Enjoy that. In fact – sorry, I’m afraid I’m going to laugh mockingly some more – hysterical western birdcage-liners like The Daily Express have actually argued that quickly bringing the war to a close will spite Putin…because military spending is making the country richer and more powerful, and snatching away that economic pillar will blow Putin’s house of straw to bits! You probably think I’m kidding, but I assure you I am not. By the way, when interpreting that growth graph, be sure to factor in national debt as a percentage of GDP while assessing the true meaning of ‘growth’. The USA – the G7’s undisputed leader – owed 129% of its GDP in federal debt in 2022. Think it’s improved since then? Ha, ha. Japan? Beyond scary at 263.9% of GDP. Canada owes 107% to creditors. France is in debt to the tune of 111.8% of GDP; all of these figures are obtained from Trading Economics, and are usually from national statistics. Italy, miraculously, has wrestled its debt down from a 2020 high of 154.9% to only 144.7% in 2022, but I’m confident you will agree that’s still pretty far from the most generous assessment of economic stability. The land of fish-and-chips and certifiably stupid Prime Ministers like Boris Johnson owes 97.1% of its GDP in debt – good show, chaps! And Germany, the only one of the vaunted G7 to show negative ‘growth’ in 2023 (small fucking wonder, you’d think, with a Foreign Minister committed to supporting Ukraine regardless of what her own voters think) posts debt of 66.1% of its income. That’s not bad, you might think, but it is terrible when you consider Germany is meant to be Europe’s economic driver, and considering it was 59.6% in 2019.

Russia’s debt is 17.2% of GDP. I think that deserves its own line. Especially in view of the fact – which is not in dispute – that the entire might of NATO and its allies is bent to sanctions designed and implemented to wreck its economy.

We’ve said all this before, more than once. But apparently nobody in western government is listening. In that framework, you could look at national fiscal insolvency as a kind of not-paying-attention tax.

Getting back to our previous focus on Zelensky and the manifest desperation of his position, his greatest crime – the one for which he richly deserves political obliteration if not literal obliteration – is the profligate sacrifice of an entire generation of young Ukrainian men, reaching out for even their fathers and sisters to feed a bloody military machine which never had a hope of success. How? Easy – by lying, hugely and consistently, and by making use of media macros like ‘the aggressor nation’ and ‘full-scale invasion’ as well as lazy stupidity like…well, here, read it for yourself. Check out the second screen – everything in the first paragraph is a lie. Russia never – that’s not ever – forecast it would ‘take Kyiv in three days’. American politician/generals did. It was never cited by Russia as a goal, an objective or even a dream, and Moscow never seriously pressed an all-out assault on the city. It withdrew most of its forces as a token of goodwill when it appeared an armistice would be signed in Istanbul, which the British talked Ukraine out of, committing it instead to an ongoing slaughter which has killed hundreds of thousands and wrecked the lives of millions. For this consideration, the Russian withdrawal was promptly dubbed ‘The Battle of Kyiv’, and touted as a master-class in combat smarts by the Ukrainians, who had the highly-desirable advantage of not having to fight anyone in order to achieve a brilliant victory. Likewise it was not ever a goal of Russia to ‘overthrow the legitimate government’; in fact, Russia promised it would not kill Zelensky, whereupon he grew bold and proclaimed himself fearless where Russia was concerned. As far as ‘holding a victory march as soon as possible’ goes, pure fantasy, although unsurprising considering Poroshenko’s incoming Defense Minister immediately promised, upon assuming his appointment, to hold Ukraine’s next Independence Day Parade in Sevastopol.

Washington has gone to the drawer where it kept its regime-change tool and discovered that it has been switched out for one made of rubber. Seldom in the mood for jokes by others, it is even less so in this election year, in which military failures will be laid at the feet of its leaders.

Take us out, will you, Mr. President? “And now the end is near..and I face…the final curtain…” Yes, you did it your way, Mr. President. More’s the pity.