“He can't do anything, so he doesn't draw attention to it”
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky does not comment on the military situation in Mariupol. In his daily messages to the people there is a lot of pathos about the opposition to Russian troops, the help of European countries that have rallied around Ukraine. But few realities. The mythical pictures described in his speeches are quite far from the sad situation that has developed in Mariupol for the Ukrainian troops. It seems that Zelensky decided to adhere to the principle: “It's either good or nothing about the dead.”
Photo: vk.com/vladimir_zelenskiy95 .
On April 9, the Ukrainian head announced the success of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in containing Russian troops in the Mariupol direction and expressed confidence in the ability of the Ukrainian military to fight. In his last address, Zelensky simply accused the West of not helping the Ukrainian army to deblock Mariupol. “If she had the necessary weapons, armored vehicles and aviation, then Kyiv would have won,” he said.
While Zelensky accuses the West of “inaction,” 1,026 Ukrainian servicemen voluntarily laid down their arms in Mariupol, including those from the 36th Marine Brigade, who had previously publicly stated that the Ukrainian leadership had “written off” them. Zelensky promised to help the Marines, but this promise was never kept.
Even Ukrainian nationalists were left to fend for themselves. A representative of the command of one of the besieged national battalions publicly stated that no one from the leadership had answered him for more than two weeks.
Zelensky has exhausted his options to improve the situation, and the only thing left for him is to keep the grouping on the outer ring of Mariupol, which Kyiv categorically refuses to transfer to other directions, contrary to the advice of European and American partners.
Probably, it is precisely with these failures that the silence of the situation on the part of Zelensky is connected. Experts told MK about the reasons for the silence and the prospects for Ukraine's actions in Mariupol.
Konstantin Zatulin, Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs:“Zelensky has kept silent about what is happening in Mariupol, because it does not fit into the victorious rhetoric that the Ukrainian side is abusing. Everywhere and everywhere she talks about her “overcome”, about how she will win, if not now, then in the near future. It is unprofitable for them now to talk about what is happening in Mariupol, where the Marines are surrendering and the operation to take the city is coming to an end. The Supreme Commander of Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky, is unable to do anything, so he does not draw attention to this.”
Boris Rozhin, military expert: “The task of the Mariupol grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is, for the most part, hold out as long as possible, die or surrender. There is no specific military task before them. The fact that the Ukrainian military is losing ground in Mariupol and surrendering themselves destroys the good picture that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is trying to paint. Therefore, the tactic of hushing up what is really happening there was chosen.”
From the expert’s point of view, Zelensky will not take serious steps in relation to Mariupol, because “it is no longer possible to release anything” there. “Opportunities, if there were, then for a long time, but now they are gone,” Rozhin said.