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Servant Of The People: Why Zelensky Will Concede Nothing To Russia

Those calling for Kyiv to negotiate away part of its territory, understand neither history nor the current reality of Ukrainian democracy.

Photo of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivering his daily video address to Ukrainians

Zelensky delivering his daily video address to Ukrainians

Anna Akage

In democracies, politicians depend on the will of the people. Making choices that defy the wishes of the majority may, at worst, cause them to lose the next election. But in transitional democracies like Ukraine, when the majority disagrees with a leader who has suddenly strayed too far in his own direction, it can cost him far more than an election. A fast-rising career can suddenly implode in a wave of protests that often force the dethroned to spend the rest of his days in exile, with no right to a name and no position in society.

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This is what happened to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who did not abide by the public desire for Kyiv to move closer to the European Union. Four years after his legitimate 2010 election victory, when he tried in vain to quelch student demonstrations in Maiden Square, he was forced to flee to Russia.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

"Welcome To Our Hell..." Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Speaks

In a rare in-depth interview, Ukraine's top diplomat didn't hold back as he discussed NATO, E.U. candidacy, and the future of the war with Russia. He also reserves a special 'thank you' for Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine attends the summit of foreign ministers of the G7 group of leading democratic economic powers.

Oleg Bazar

KYIV — This is the first major interview Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba has given. He spoke to the Ukrainian publication Livy Bereg about NATO, international assistance and confrontation with Russia — on the frontline and in the offices of the European Parliament.

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At 41, Kuleba is the youngest ever foreign minister of Ukraine. He is the former head of the Commission for Coordination of Euro-Atlantic Integration and initiated Ukraine's accession to the European Green Deal. The young but influential pro-European politician is now playing a complicated political game in order to attract as many foreign partners as possible to support Ukraine not only in the war, but also when the war ends.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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