Are Zelensky's actions in Ukraine-Russia conflict heroic?
- Volodymyr Zelensky is Ukraine’s President who was initially an actor and comedian, but was elected into the position in 2019 for his “anti-corruption platform.”
- On March 5, 2022, Liz Cheney critiqued the “Putin wing of the GOP,” specifically former senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense, Douglas MacGregor, for saying, “I don’t see anything heroic” about Zelensky.
- According to a recent Ratings Sociological Group poll, Zelensky’s approval rating has risen during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, boosting the approval rate of the president’s actions to a 91% with 59% support of the president himself.
- On March 7, 2022, Ukraine denied Russia’s offer to let civilians travel to safety in “designated routes” to Russia or Belarus with Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak asserting that “Russia is organizing propaganda corridors, not humanitarian ones.”
- Zelensky opted to remain in Ukraine during President Putin’s attacks, “emerging as a hero to his nation’s citizens” as he has motivated Ukranians to resist the invasion in a series of videos and messages, one being, “Our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children and we will protect all of this.”
- Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, “unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks” with condemnation coming from the US, Europe, South Korea, Australia, and other countries.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is leading his nation's defense against an unprovoked attack by a numerically and technologically superior military force, a daunting position for anyone to be in and one that has certainly earned him the descriptor heroic. While Putin's end goal is still unclear, he likely wants to remove the democratically elected Zelensky and install a puppet regime. This likely means that more than just Zelensky's job is at stake; he, along with his resistance fighters, are fighting for their lives and those of their fellow citizens—something truly heroic. Since the outbreak of the invasion, Zelensky has managed to survive three separate assassination attempts, including one by the Wagner group and one by Chechen Special Forces. The Ukrainian leader's life is clearly in grave danger, both from conventional military actions and covert plots to overthrow his government. To make matters worse, many of Zelensky's fighters are volunteers, using improvised weapons such as Molotov cocktails against a nuclear superpower.
Zelensky should be considered a hero because he has stayed with his countrymen to fight. There have been reports that the United States offered to evacuate him, and it would certainly be safer to lead from exile. Rather than take the safe option, Zelensky has put his life at risk to inspire his nation by remaining visible through a variety of media posts and showing the international community the severity of the situation. In times of crisis, a leader putting aside his own safety to stand with his people can be very inspiring to the average person, a truly heroic action.
As the Russians continue with the destruction of Ukraine, many people believe the comedic actor Volodymyr, now turned President, is a hero. In reality, Zelensky is no such thing; anyone can hide inside a bunker in an unknown location and speak out. The poor civilians and soldiers are considered heroes as they fight a war against one of the most powerful and brutal armies on the face of this planet. Perhaps Zelensky has united the people of Ukraine but not to any great use.
First, during the build-up to Russia's invasion of his nation, he doubted all the intelligence provided by the US, France, and the UK. He insisted the Russians were not going to invade, downplayed the build-up of Russian troops along the Ukraine border, and never made his nation war-ready. He also left the world's biggest airplane (Antonov) in the country instead of sending it elsewhere for safety- and this was one of the first objects the Russians destroyed. Worse, he never called up any reserves or distributed weapons to the citizens until Putin pulled the trigger.
All Zelensky is seemingly doing is hyping up and glorifying the trauma inflicted by the Russians, showing images of people killed or destroyed buildings, which does not make one a hero. The biggest mistake Zelensky has made is to postpone the inevitable, and with this will come an enormous loss of life and destruction of Ukraine. Recently the Russians offered a peace settlement, but Zelensky rejected the offer; he preferred to see the civilians suffer and his army decimated. A hero isn't always the one who wins the war; sometimes, a hero offers to make peace.