Zelensky Panics as Ukraine is Forgotten

As the American focus turns to Israel, Volodymyr Zelensky is making a desperate bid to remain relevant.

The other war: As the world’s eyes turn to Israel, another U.S.-backed nation is desperately trying to remain relevant. A new Time profile of Volodymyr Zelensky details the Ukrainian president’s “struggle to keep Ukraine in the fight” — and to maintain his access to America’s purse strings.

Doom and gloom: Across the board, Ukraine’s situation is worsening in its war with Russia. About a fifth of its territory is under enemy control, the Ukrainian death toll is in the tens of thousands, and international support is waning.

  • Worn out his welcome: The mood shift is evident on Capitol Hill. As Time details, Zelensky received a “hero’s welcome” during his first trip to D.C. at the end of the last year, and support for Ukraine aid was overwhelmingly bipartisan.

  • Last month, however, Zelensky’s second trip to America was met with an icy reception: Congress refused his appeal to deliver a public speech, and Ukraine aid failed to make it into the next government spending package.

  • How bad? There’s been a double-digit drop in support for Ukraine aid among Americans since June.

Losing it: Zelensky’s aides told Time that the Ukrainian leader’s mood is grim compared to what it was two years ago. What’s more, some are worried that Zelensky’s determination is turning into delusion: “We’re out of options,” one said. “We’re not winning. But try telling him that.”

No end in sight: Victory for Ukraine isn’t in the cards anytime soon — but neither is any kind of negotiated peace. Time reports that the idea is “taboo” among Zelensky and his advisers and that the Ukrainian president is “dead set against even a temporary truce.”

  • Corruption: The corruption issue is still fraught, with one White House official noting that “People are stealing like there’s no tomorrow.” Republicans in the House are now stipulating that audits would have to accompany any further aid.

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