The Office of the Ukrainian President called the article of the reporter Simon Shuster in the American magazine Time, which caused a wide resonance in Ukraine, “the subjective point of view of a particular journalist”.
The material is based on Volodymyr Zelensky’s own comments to Time magazine, as well as, as indicated in the article, on the statements of people from his environment. Their names are not mentioned. One of the main accents on which the author of the material focuses attention concerns “war fatigue in Ukraine.” The article states, in particular, that Zelensky felt exhausted at some point during his September visit to Washington. The Ukrainian leader explained his condition not only by the fact that he leads the country in wartime, but also by “the persistent need to convince allies that Ukraine can win with their help,” the article reads.
Also, in the material of Simon Shuster, the words of Volodymyr Zelenskyi are cited that he considers the most frightening “the habit of part of the world to war in Ukraine.” “War fatigue is like a wave. You see it in the USA, in Europe. And we see that as soon as they start to get a little tired, for them everything becomes like a show (which you don’t want to watch for the tenth time – RS)” – Time quotes the president of Ukraine.
Society increasingly agrees that Ukraine needs to be helped, support has been declining for several months, and Zelensky’s trip to the United States has not changed the situation, the author of the article notes. He writes that he followed Zelensky back to Kyiv after this visit, and asked one of the members of his entourage a question about the president’s well-being. Shuster was told that Volodymyr Zelensky was “angry”. Another interlocutor of the journalist allegedly said that Zelensky “most of all feels loyal to the Western allies.” “They left the ego without the means to win the war, but only to survive,” Simon Schuster quotes the source as saying.
Among other things, the material mentions the problem of fighting corruption in Ukraine, and that in recent months this issue has strained relations between Zelensky and many of his allies. It also points to problems in Ukraine with mobilization, but, as Shuster writes, Zelensky does not want to freeze the war due to the onset of cold weather, and due to the slow progress of Ukraine at the front, several layoffs are expected. According to the publication, there is at least one minister and general who is “responsible for the counteroffensive”. Specific surnames are not mentioned.
The Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty asked for comments about this material to the adviser of the Office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak. He noted that it should not be forgotten that the article is someone’s subjective position. “This is the subjective point of view of a specific journalist who has his own vision of what is happening. Secondly, I do not understand what anonymous sources are. Because when I talk to someone on behalf of the President’s Office, I always say that this I’m talking… In some places, these anonymous sources are people who do not have access to certain information, but they are nearby somewhere, and they want to increase their weight,” Podolyak noted.
Regarding the allegedly angry Zelenskyi, Podolyak said that, of course, the president has a harsh attitude towards the fact that Ukraine has been at war for 600 days. “I would not say that there is any malice or that we consider our partners traitors,” continued Podolyak, adding that Kyiv expects faster and larger deliveries of military aid to end the war on “fair” terms. “There is a certain psychological fatigue. Not in the president… But in general, if we talk about the circumstances of what is happening in Ukraine today. And, from the point of view of relations with our partners, we would like a clearer fixation, concreteness, understanding”, – says Mikhail Podolyak.
- Regarding Simon Shuster, the Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty notes that this is not his first article about Ukraine and Volodymyr Zelensky, about whom the journalist has been writing a lot since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Media profile publication “Detektor Media” reports that Shuster is a native of Moscow who has worked in Russia and Ukraine for more than 15 years and has prepared reports from both countries. He lives in New York, but now spends a lot of time in Kyiv.
- In April 2022, Shuster spent two weeks with Zelensky and his entourage. As a result of the trip, he became the author of an article for Time in the issue that came out with a photo of Zelensky on the cover. In July of the same year, the reporter announced plans to publish the book “When the world watches: Vladimir Zelensky and the war in Ukraine.”
- After the article “In Russia – a crime without punishment” about the destruction of the Malaysian “Boeing” in July 2014 in the Donetsk region, Simon Shuster was banned from entering Russia.
- The editor-in-chief of LB.ua, Oleg Bazar, drew attention to the fact that Shuster has been criticizing the Azov regiment for a long time in his Facebook page, notes the publication of the Ukrainian Service.