Ukrainian leaders on Saturday took issue with President Joe Biden after their chief investor told guests at a Los Angeles fundraiser that he warned Kyiv about Russia’s invasion plan but President Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t want to hear it.
Mykailo Podolia, an adviser for Zelensky, said in an interview with the BBC that it “is absurd to accuse a country of resisting the aggressor for more than 100 days, which prevails if key countries have failed to stop Russia as a precaution.”
“The phrase ‘did not want to hear’ probably needs clarification,” Zelensky spokesman Sergei Nikiforov told a Ukrainian news outlet, according to The Associated Press.
About a week before Russian troops entered Ukrainian territory, Biden told reporters that he was convinced that Putin made up his mind to invade.
“As of this moment I’m convinced he’s made the decision,” Biden said. “We have reason to believe that.”
Biden was asked by reporters at the time how he could be so confident with his assessment and he said, “We have a significant intelligence capability.”
Biden told these guests that Ukraine is experiencing something that hasn’t happened since WWII.
“I know a lot of people thought I was maybe exaggerating, but I knew we had data to sustain he”— referencing Putin – “was going to go in, off the border.”
“There was no doubt, and Zelensky didn’t want to hear it,” Biden said.
TRENDPOST: If Zelensky was being cavalier at the time and not listening to the U.S. about the risks of war with Russia, why did the Biden administration keep that information from the American public at the time?
The answer is that the comedian would have looked even more reckless, and the American public might have bristled at providing $56 billion of financial backing and weapons of death. Information like that would not help the U.S. war machine and could actually lend credibility to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to start the conflict.
The AP pointed out that Zelensky tried to play down warnings from Washington that the war was imminent.
As we reported in The Trends Journal last month, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former Brazilian president, made waves when he said Zelensky shared blame for the Russian invasion earlier this year. (SEE: “BRAZIL’S LULA SAYS UKRAINE’S COMEDIAN SHARES BLAME FOR WAR.”)
“I see the president of Ukraine, speaking on television, being applauded, getting a standing ovation by all the parliamentarians. This guy is as responsible as [Russian President Vladimir] Putin for the war,” he told Time.
Lula said Zelensky should have ignored Western officials and acknowledged Russia’s security concerns before the conflict.
“We should be having a serious conversation. OK, you were a nice comedian. But let us not make war for you to show up on TV,” Lula said. He said Zelensky should have resisted talking about Ukraine joining NATO.
Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, said Sunday that the alliance wants Kyiv to be able to negotiate with Russia from a position of strength, but admitted that Ukraine will likely have to give up land.
“Peace is possible,” he said, according to RT. “The only question is what price are you willing to pay for peace? How much territory, how much independence, how much sovereignty…are you willing to sacrifice for peace?”
The report said that Stoltenberg avoided endorsing the ceding of territory but pointed to past examples where such deals ended wars, like Finland’s decision to give up Karelia to the Soviet Union in WWII. He said that deal is “one of the reasons Finland was able to come out of the Second World War as an independent sovereign nation.”
Zelensky has said several times that Ukraine will not cede an inch of territory to Russia.
“No one is going to trade a gram of our sovereignty or a millimeter of our territory,” Zelensky said earlier this month. “Our children are dying, soldiers are being blown apart by shells, and they tell us to sacrifice territory. Get lost. It’s never going to happen.”
TRENDPOST: We maintain our forecast that Ukraine will not gain back its territory and Biden’s comments at the Los Angeles fundraiser sound like something someone would say when they see the writing on the wall.
For all of Biden’s mistakes and failures, he is what you call a political survivor. When his ship hits an iceberg, he is the captain who is the first person seated in a lifeboat. We’ve reported in previous issues that George Packer recalled Classic Biden in his 2019 book called, “Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century.”
Packer wrote that Biden, who was vice president in 2010, told Holbrook that the U.S. should pull out of Afghanistan despite the certain humanitarian tragedy.
“Fuck that. We don’t have to worry about that,” Biden reportedly told Holbrooke. “We did it in Vietnam. Nixon and Kissinger got away with it.”