Kiev’s Impending Conscription Propaganda Campaign Proves That Ukrainians Don’t Want To Fight

The confluence of these three trends – Ukrainians souring on Zelensky, the West souring on this proxy war, but Zelensky remaining delusional about the latter and consequently ordering a new conscription drive against the will of his own people – could lead to some political surprises in the coming future.

Zelensky’s senior advisor Podolyak candidly declared late last week while speaking on national TV that his country will soon unleash a “propaganda” campaign aimed at aiding the Ukrainian leader’s new conscription drive. According to him, people “don’t really understand what the war is and what consequences it may lead to if it’s not finished in the right way”, hence the need to convince them otherwise. Without realizing it, however, he just discredited one of this conflict’s top myths.

Up until recently, the official narrative was that Ukrainians are still volunteering by the tens of thousands to join the armed forces “in defense of their homeland” just like during the opening stages of Russia’s special operation, the notion of which served to justify seemingly never-ending foreign aid. Average Westerners were made to feel that they have a moral obligation to continue redistributing their hard-earned tax wealth to that country “for as long as it takes” since “Ukrainians weren’t giving up the fight”.

That perception began to shift as a result of none other than the Mainstream Media’s (MSM) own reporting over the past month after Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny admitted to The Economist that the conflict had entered a stalemate. Approximately six weeks prior, the New York Times (NYT) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) explained why summer’s counteroffensive failed, and it was only two weeks ago that Zelensky finally tacitly acknowledged that exact same outcome.

The Ukrainian leader then ordered his forces to fortify the entire front ahead of a possible Russian counteroffensive, thus signaling that the conflict’s dynamics were returning to what they were at the opening stages of Russia’s special operation when Kiev was placed on the defensive. One might have thought that Ukrainians would once again be eager to join their armed forces “in defense of their homeland” just like back then, but that’s no longer the case as proven by Podolyak’s candid declaration.

The regime is panicking about Zelensky’s new conscription drive because the failed counteroffensive irreparably demoralized Ukrainians and normalized the emerging trend of critical MSM reporting about the future course of this conflict. The BBC raised awareness late last month of the EU’s estimate that at least 650,000 Ukrainian men had already fled to escape conscription. This was then followed by the Washington Post (WaPo) amplifying the arguments of these same draft dodgers.

In particular, those men lambasted the state of democracy in their country as well as the rule law, not to mention their complaints about how corrupt the armed forces had allegedly become. Smack dab in the middle of those two’s damning reports was Kiev Mayor Klitschko condemning Zelensky as a dictator in remarks that were widely reported on by the MSM. Coupled with Time Magazine’s unflattering portrayal of Zelensky in late October and Politico’s latest mockery of him, it’s clear that the mood has shifted.

The Ukrainian leader and his cause are now no longer considered to be above any criticism, but to the contrary, they’re increasingly being criticized at home and abroad as the conflict finally begins winding down. Instead of reading the writing on the wall and recommencing peace talks with Russia under reported Western pressure, Zelensky continues clinging to his messianic delusions of maximum victory as Time Magazine unforgettably described them citing an unnamed senior aide.

This is generating a groundswell of genuine anti-state sentiment that might soon be leveraged by one of his growing number of rivals, first and foremost among them Zaluzhny but also perhaps former President Poroshenko, Kiev Mayor Klitschko, former senior aide Arestovich, and/or a combination thereof. The straw that could break the camel’s back and provoke large-scale protests is the latest conscription drive that he ordered under the influence of his aforementioned messianic delusions of maximum victory.

With a view towards averting that scenario, Zelensky concocted the conspiracy theory that Russian agents inside Ukraine are supposedly orchestrating a “Maidan 3” against him, though the reality is that this is just a desperate attempt to discredit such demonstrations ahead of time. He himself knows very well that public opinion is turning against him over his refusal to freeze the conflict, which risks spiraling out of control over the new conscription drive that many fear will send them to their doom.

The very fact that Podolyak had to candidly declare an impending conscription propaganda campaign on national TV proves that Ukrainians no longer want to fight, which discredits one of this conflict’s top myths that was exploited to guilt Westerners into redistributing their hard-earned taxes to that country. That’ll in turn reduce Western support for this proxy war and correspondingly increase the appeal of those politicians who want to cut off the purse strings after realizing maximum victory is unattainable.

The confluence of these three trends – Ukrainians souring on Zelensky, the West souring on this proxy war, but Zelensky remaining delusional about the latter and consequently ordering a new conscription drive against the will of his own people – could lead to some political surprises in the coming future. Unless the secret police can successfully impose a full-blown 1930s-like dictatorship, which is difficult due to the support that Zaluzhny has in the armed forces, a forthcoming power play can’t be ruled out.

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