Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky in 2016 photo

Since the first Russian tank rolled into Ukraine last year, the Western media has done nothing but promote Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a gutsy leader in the mold of Winston Churchill who is the defender of freedom in all of Europe. 

But The Wall Street Journal published a long story last week that highlighted some of Zelensky’s “domestic political troubles” were resurfacing illustrated by his plummeting approval rating before the war began.

Just one month before the war, Bloomberg reported that the Ukrainian economy was in a free fall and needed an injection of $5 billion to stabilize. The U.S. has provided Kyiv with tens of billions in financial support during the war, but expressed concerns back in October that Kyiv was taking too long to get control of the rampant corruption.

But while news outlets in the West continue to promote the former comedian—famous for playing the piano with his penis and also played the President of Ukraine in sitcoms before “officially” becoming president—the paper said politics are “returning for the 45-year-old president” who was “a former comic.”

The paper spoke with a Western diplomat in Ukraine who said it was important for Zelensky to mobilize the West, but if that momentum is not sustained, there’s a real chance that “all the dirt will come back: the corruption allegations, the political opponents, the messy reform process.”

Ukraine is considered the second-most corrupt country in Europe, behind Russia, which the paper noted has been a “perennial problem” for Kyiv. Indeed, Zelensky recently fired top officials in his government for increasing the price of eggs and other food items for the military.

Zelensky has increased his grip on the country’s media, under the guise of stopping Russian propaganda, and seldom allows Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhniy, the chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, to conduct interviews. Zaluzhniy is seen as a clear political rival.

TRENDPOST: Ukraine, how low can you go? Totally unreported by the mainstream media is that Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries on earth. Transparency International ranked Ukraine 123rd of the 180 countries it examined, which is slightly better than Russia, which came in at 139th. Ukraine scored 32 out of a 100-point scale and Russia scored 29. 

TRENDPOST: The WSJ noted that Zelensky signed a decree in the early stages of the war that essentially dictates what news outlets can broadcast and which government officials could be interviewed. 

Zelensky is a shrewd communicator who won the election in 2019 easily after centering his campaign on ending the yearslong conflict in the Donbas. The paper said his charisma “carried him only so far.”

“Western officials privately expressed disappointment that he wasn’t delivering on his campaign against corruption. His efforts to strike a deal with Russia to bring peace in eastern Ukraine stalled as Moscow sought to use its control there to revive its historical claim to Ukraine,” the paper said.

Gerald Celente has long said: “When all else fails, they take you to war.” 

The WSJ noted that in January 2022, a month before the invasion, Zelesnky’s trust rating was down to 28 percent, but that changed after the invasion. His popularity on the domestic front soared and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, started to refer to him as “Winston Churchill in a T-shirt.” (See “ZELENSKY SAID HE REFUSED TO HONOR MINSK ACCORD WITH RUSSIA” 14 Feb 2023, “U.S., NATO, UKRAINE: NO PEACE PERMITTED. TANKS NOT ENOUGH, ZELENSKY WANTS MORE WEAPONS” 31 Jan 2023 and “ZELENSKY TO MEDIA: I OWN YOU”10 Jan 2023.)

But the paper noted that Zelensky’s political rise was helped by support from billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky, who owned a popular TV station in Ukraine and was placed under U.S. sanctions in 2021. His home was raided and he was accused of misappropriating funds at a state-owned oil company that he once owned.

TRENDPOST: Zelensky was a law-degree-carrying comedian who played the Ukrainian president on a TV show who ran for office in 2019 and vowed to work to clean up the crony capitalism and corruption in Kyiv. The show was called “Servant of the People.”

One of the platforms of Zelensky’s campaign was peace with Russia. As reported by Radio Free Europe, “one of his two main promises was to bring the war to an end, a goal that polls have shown Ukrainians want to see accomplished more than anything.”

But Zelensky’s effort to negotiate for peace and clean up Kyiv’s corruption was seen by many to have failed, and it turned out that Zelensky was part of the problem all along. 

Forbes wrote in 2021, “Life has become art. But for many Ukraine watchers and foreign investors—they want their money back. This Servant of the People real life movie version is not like the TV series. This is a flop.”

Zelensky’s relationship with Ihor Kolomoysky, the Ukrainian oligarch, has also been scrutinized after reports emerged of a secret payment of $41 million to Zelensky’s off-shore media company called Kvartal 95.

The Pandora Papers suggested that Zelensky was involved with money laundering from Kolomoysky’s PrivatBank that helped the comedian buy an apartment in London.

Zelensky also has a 15-room villa in Italy that he failed to disclose in his public asset declaration while running for office in 2019.

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