Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo: CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock)
By the time Volodymyr Zelensky was elected Ukrainian president in April 2019, we were already examining his promises to break with the past. He soon began exploring fresh routes to ending conflict in the east by engaging with Moscow. He made some initial progress but success was limited by irreconcilable differences with Russia on next steps and resistance at home from nationalists opposed to reckless concessions. We tracked this process as it took one step forward, one back.
Through 2020-21, peace talks stalled and Moscow lost hope that Zelensky would be a compliant peacemaker. The recent Russian military build-up is intended at least as a threat of invasion, and the Zelensky administration is left reliant on limited US and European support while hoping that Moscow is bluffing.
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