Why is The MSM Glorifying Zelensky, and What is Really Going on Behind the Scenes?

Russia may be winning the ground war, but the information war has already seen one of the most lopsided victories in recent memory for NATO and Ukraine. Western media has turned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into an overnight international hero, but most of the world knows very little about President Zelensky or his actions during the conflict so far. Do we know that he deserves this kind of glorification yet?

Zelensky apparently still in capital

If you’ve found yourself at all wondering why so many Americans who would not have been able to point out Donetsk or Mariupol a month ago suddenly have strong opinions about these places, it’s no accident.

The conflict in Ukraine is the largest war of the social media era so far; rather than giving us a clearer picture of what is actually happening at the front, the nonstop flow of information has contributed another layer to the fog of war.

In part, this is because both state and non-state actors are engaging in information warfare while the troops on the ground exchange bullets and rockets.

The Ukrainian government is fully aware that its best chance of survival lies in convincing English-speaking audiences to demand that their own governments join in the fighting against Russia.

Dubious stories like the “ghost of Kyiv” and the “Snake Island 13” have spread like wildfire on Western social media before being essentially debunked by subsequent reports. Where does President Zelensky fit into this environment?

The Ukrainian president says that he is still in his capital city despite repeated evacuation offers from the White House. We can’t be certain about this, but he seems to be telling the truth.  This alone shows that Zelensky is more courageous than most world leaders would be in his shoes.

Ukrainian civilians asked to serve as cannon fodder

He is not, however, fighting on the front lines as some sensational reports have claimed. Photos purporting to show him fighting in the trenches were taken months ago during visits to the troops.

We can’t know how popular Zelensky is with the Ukrainian public since the invasion started, but earlier this month polls indicated that only 23% of Ukrainians were planning to vote for him in the next election.

Western social media has portrayed a Ukrainian populace that is prepared to throw themselves into suicidal attacks on Russian tanks in response to calls from Zelensky’s government.

Even as the president and his ministers tell their people that they are in a war of annihilation, however, they are engaged in direct negotiations with Russia to seek a diplomatic end to the fighting.

Given that Ukraine is already negotiating and that it still has trained and equipped soldiers fighting in the field, the government’s calls for untrained and poorly armed civilians to throw themselves into the line of fire looks like a reprehensible and unnecessary waste of innocent lives.

The best judgment that can be formed of Zelensky at the moment is that he is being unexpectedly tenacious in defying the Russians, and that some of his actions may cause countless unnecessary deaths before the fighting stops. It is still far too early to say anything conclusive about what his legacy will be.

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