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Zelenskyy’s Magical Thinking Can’t Conjure Up a Peace Conference

On May 31, British daily The Guardian published an exclusive interview with Volodymyr Zelenskyy which shows the extent to which he does not live in reality. Zelenskyy, among other things, demanded the right to strike anywhere inside Russia with long -range weapons. Without this green light, Zelenskyy said, other allies, such as the U.K., may not allow Ukraine to use their long-range weapons either. Speaking of Russia, he claimed: “Believe us, we have to respond. They don’t understand anything but force. We are not the first and not the last target.”

Zelenskyy also complained that U.S. weapons are still not arriving fast enough, despite the passage of the $61 billion aid package. He, of course, described Vladimir Putin as “like Hitler.”

Most revealing, however, was his over-the-top praise of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whom he described as a “good friend” who “really helped Ukraine.” Asked if he missed the former prime minister, Zelenskyy joked: “He does not give me the opportunity to miss him. He is always here.”

Zelenskyy said he had used Johnson as an “instrument” to reach Trump, after Republicans in Congress spent six months obstructing aid to Ukraine. Johnson had a productive “conversation” with Trump, Zelenskyy said. It was one of several initiatives taken to get through to Republicans, including to House Speaker Mike Johnson (Zelenskyy never mentioned Foreign Minister David Cameron’s visit to Trump in Mar-a-Lago, just before the House vote).

On Britain, Zelenskyy said good relations would continue, whatever the result of the July 4 U.K. general election. The Labour Party leader Keir Starmer “is a good guy … [Tory PM Rishi Sunak] is also a good guy,” he said. “It seems to me that the policy of Great Britain has never changed in relation to Ukraine. And it seems to me so important, because the leaders can be changed in different countries, but the most important is to never change the values … We will be working with the choice of the British people, with the prime minister who will be elected by the people of Britain.” [cjo]

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