One can only sympathize with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Vladimir Putin has a dagger aimed at the heart of Ukraine. For months he has mobilized troops along the Ukrainian border. The recent deployment of troops to Ukraine’s almost undefended border with Belarus raises the possibility of a blitzkrieg strike against Kyiv, the capital.
Zelensky has every reason to lose his cool. And yet, he seems to be the only player in this crisis keeping his eye on the ball. In response to President Biden’s gaffe about how a “minor incursion” into Ukraine would probably elicit a more restrained response from America and NATO, Zelensky tweeted: “We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones.”
On Friday, he chastised Western powers, including the U.S., for fomenting panic by talking about how a devastating war is now imminent and perhaps inevitable. “These signals have come even from respected world leaders, who speak openly and with undiplomatic language. They say simply ‘tomorrow there will be war.’ This is panic,” he said. Zelensky reportedly delivered this message to Biden directly.