A furious and beleaguered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky skewered NATO for not doing more to intervene against Russia's military invasion of the country, on Friday saying the Western military alliance is "weak" and "confused" while continuing to urge a no-fly zone.
"Unfortunately, today there is a complete impression that it is time to give a funeral repast for something else: security guarantees and promises, determination of alliances, values that seem to be dead for someone," Zelensky said after a NATO summit was held in Brussels, which saw Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reiterate his position that "we are not part of this conflict." Zelensky responded:
"The NATO summit took place today — weak summit, confused summit, summit which shows that not everyone considers the struggle for freedom to be Europe's No. 1 goal."
He had started his comments by praising the bravery of Ukrainian fighters in the face of the Russian military onslaught. But he contrasted this with the refusal of NATO to send significant help.
"Unfortunately, today there is a complete impression that it is time to give a funeral repast for something else: security guarantees and promises, determination of alliances, values that seem to be dead for someone," the Ukrainian leader said.
"All the people who will die starting from this day will also die because of you. Because of your weakness, because of your disunity," Zelensky added. These were some of his harshest words yet aimed at NATO 'inaction' - despite hundreds of tons of weaponry pouring into Kiev from NATO backers, including Germany who recently did a U-turn on its weapons neutrality.
A number of prominent US hawks have also been urging a no-fly zone or some kind of more muscular action on the part of Washington. But many others have rightly pointed out that a no-fly zone is simply a technical term that signifies waging direct war with Russia. It would not be a "limited" engagement over the skies of Ukraine given it would involving a direct shooting war between US and Russian forces.
So far Joe Biden has vowed to the American public that there will be no American troops sent to fight Russia in Ukraine. He reiterated this firmly in Tuesday night's State of the Union address as well.
American political Scientist John Mearsheimer more than a half-decade ago predicted the scenario that's playing out now...
Analysis & prediction on Ukraine from 6 years ago:— Prodigal Son (@ThePr0diga1S0n) January 24, 2022
“The West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path & the end result is Ukraine is going to get wrecked.”
-John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the U. of Chicago, pic.twitter.com/kPQNH58o7G
He said at the time in a public lecture: "What's going on here is that the West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path. And the end result is that Ukraine is going to get wrecked. And I believe that the policy that I'm advocating, which is neutralising Ukraine, and then building it up economically, and getting it out of the competition between Russia on one side, NATO on the other side is the best thing that could happen to the Ukrainians.
"What we're doing is encouraging the Ukrainians to play tough with the Russians. We're encouraging, the Ukrainians to think that they will ultimately become part of the West, because we will ultimately defeat Putin, and we will ultimately get our way, time is on our side. And of course, the Ukrainians are playing along with this."