Columns Volodymyr Zelenskyi shows Vladimir Putin what real courage is like

President Putin has underestimated the will of the Ukrainians to fight. That was a serious mistake.

When this writing appears, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi may be dead. The president is leading the Ukrainian struggle for the Russian siege of Kiev, and has no plans to escape.

The Russians seem to have fallen badly wrong. They imagined that the Ukrainians would submit as easily as in 2014. This has not happened. They have also underestimated President Zelensky.

As a lawyer trained Zelenskyi became known from the television series Servant of the people. He was elected president in April 2019. Against this background, the 44-year-old Zelensky was easy to regard as a light figure who can only be blown away by that. That’s what Putin must have imagined.

But history tends to create unlikely heroes. Like a 170-cent-long Ukrainian comedian who refuses to submit to the army of a great power. When the Americans offered Zelensky a chance to escape, he replied, “I don’t need a ride, but ammunition.”

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Zelenskyi has taken on the role that history has reserved for him. Just hours before the Russian invasion, Zelenskyi gave a speech to the Russians: “We know we don’t need a war, we’re not cold, we’re not hot, we’re not hybrids. But if your troops attack us and someone tries to take our country away from us, our freedom, the lives of our children, then we will defend ourselves. ”

Zelenskyi spoke Russian, although he said he knew the speech would not be shown on Russian television. The President hopes that the truth about the Russian offensive war will seep into the knowledge of the Russians from mouth to mouth and from link to link.

Zelensky will hardly be saved by the truth, but his speeches and messages are not only for the present moment but also for history.

A David-Goliath still has formed between Russia and Ukraine, with Vladimir Putin pumped with botox as a frog-like face against the young Zelensky. It looks bad to Putin, who understands the meaning of symbols. That’s how hard he has built his hard man image. When will Putin pose on a judo mat, when will he be filmed with a tiger. But unlike Zelensky, Putin has the courage to play theater.

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It was last seen when the coronary virus frightened Putin so badly that he hid for months in public, causing opposition leader Alexei Navalny to baptize Putin as a “bunker priest”.

It is Putin’s fear that is probably the reason why Ukraine had to be attacked. Putin is not really afraid of a NATO attack, as he claimed in his illusory speech. Why be afraid? As Putin himself pointed out, Russia is protected by a terrible number of nuclear missiles.

Putin is afraid of democracy. Ukraine must be destroyed, because Ukraine’s success would show the full depth of Russia’s failure. And that, in turn, could mean a moment of personal accounting for Putin.

Putin in thinking, Ukraine is not a country or a nation but a peripheral region of Russia. Now this peripheral region is fighting for its freedom. Heroic stories have emerged in that battle in just a couple of days, such as the defenders of Käärmesaari who defied the Russian battleship or the fearless president in his green t-shirt.

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For Putin, the worst thing is that Zelensky cannot be defeated by killing, as the dead hero becomes a legend as this war becomes an initial myth for a free Ukraine still emerging from the ruins of the war.

Putin has speculated in his old days to take a look at a place in history for himself. He wants to make Russia great again. However, history rarely obeys plans. Putin may secure his place in history, but not alongside Peter and Catherine but Hitler and Stalin, and he may not be remembered as a restorer of Russian greatness but as a unifier of Ukrainians.

The author is the forerunner of the editorial office.

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