Just how long is a long war? We’re not sure, but President Zelenskyy of Ukraine recently spoke with some Russian reporters to say that he’s preparing for one. He has surprised everyone by being more strategic and more fight-ready than anyone would have guessed.
Zelenskyy wasn’t the hero when he was first elected. Many said that he got into power because it was a popularity contest. However, he rose above all of the pettiness and became the leader that the people of Ukraine needed him to be.
People from all over the world have flown to Ukraine to join his military ranks, too. They want a chance to serve under the great man and to help him defend his country against Russia.
Vladimir Putin could have had no idea what he was going to be up against. He thought that Russia was strong enough to take Ukraine quickly and without effort. And now, things are proving to be considerably harder – and many of the Russian troops simply aren’t interested in waging a war against their neighboring country.
Since Ukraine is gaining allies from all over the world and Russia isn’t showing any signs of backing down, the war could go on for a while. Although Putin may not be ready for an extended battle, Zelenskyy is.
Will this go on for 20 years like the war in Afghanistan? We all hope not – and realistically, as more people come to the aid of Ukraine, it’s unlikely to go on through the end of the year. But there are so many unknown factors – including what countries could step up to help Russia, including China and North Korea.
Zelenskyy has been going about the war in a very civilized, organized manner. And when he met with Russian reporters to give his side of things, they were happy to listen and report. And when they uploaded their story to social media, it didn’t take long before the Russian government ordered that it be taken down.
Why? We can only assume that it didn’t paint Putin or the Russian government as a whole in a very positive light.
The interview did provide some insight into a few things.
The Ukrainians have tried to arrange for the bodies of dead soldiers back to Russia. Only, the Russians have declined to accept such an arrangement.
Zelenskyy also spoke of how Russia is doing its best to round up civilians so that they can be used as a negotiating tool. This is similar to how Ukrainians were arrested across Russia in 2014 during the land grab in Donbas – and many are still missing.
Zelenskyy sought to be brutally honest during the interview – something that was likely refreshing for the reporters since Putin has been playing this invasion so close to the chest that even his closest advisors don’t know what to expect next.
The reporters did ask the Ukrainian leader if he thought that relations could ever be normalized with Russia again. That’s when Zelenskyy offered a relatively vague answer that said he’d be focusing on relations with the West. That response shouldn’t surprise anyone, particularly with how vocal he’s been about wanting to join NATO.
The Russian government may have censored the interview, but we did learn one thing. Zelenskyy’s negotiating position hasn’t changed and isn’t set to change. He’d rather prepare for a long war than give into Putin and his demands.