The Zelensky Meme

BY MEG LEE CHIN

It seems some of the events in Ukraine may have been misinterpreted by our Western media.

Our typical warfare style is to immediately storm the capital city and kill or seize the leader. Although this allows us to claim a swift victory for our folks back home, it tends to leave a messy power vacuum as we scramble to install a new government and control the chaos. This can go on for years and sometimes never ends.

But according to former “Russia Today” presenter Alexander Mercouris, Putin’s strategy was to ignore the Capital city and instead surround the bulk of the military forces in Eastern Ukraine into a “cauldron”. The encircled military is slowly strangled of food and supplies while the heat is turned up. This enables talks from a very strong position.

Meanwhile, humanitarian corridors allow not only citizens but disenchanted soldiers to leave (minus their weapons). Talks continue with the leverage gradually shifting more and more toward the Russians as the cauldron starts to boil.

Hence Putin’s goal is not to replace the government entirely but to keep the existing government with a drastic reshuffle which he controls. The last thing anyone wants is a messy US style power vacuum. Once the bulk of the military is taken out, the Russians can simply walk right into Kiev.

A deal is often reached before this happens. I think we may see this soon…

This Russian style of warfare is something we Westerners don’t seem to understand. Hence there have been a lot of myths about the power of the Ukrainian resistance. The Ukrainians weren’t “holding firm” with Kiev their capital city. For Kiev was barely even attacked. The Russian tanks weren’t stalled outside the capital for “lack of food or supplies”. They were simply waiting for orders and sat there to prevent military supplies going in.

So the Ukrainian strength lay not in the fighting capability of citizens but in the PR war and the global meme created by their leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy. His genius was to win the PR battle. Putin with all his cunning military prowess didn’t account for former actor and comedian Zelensky’s considerable PR acumen and ability to harness this power on a worldwide stage.

It wasn’t the sanctions of Western leaders which gave Putin a bigger fight than he may have counted on. It was the overwhelming pressure from ordinary people who boycotted companies and forced them to close up shop in Russia. It was ordinary people who demanded their governments do more to help Ukrainians. It was the strength of the meme which Zelensky created on a global platform that Putin inadvertently gave him.

Ha ha Putin. Take that you wimp.

But jokes aside, ultimately there are no heroes or winners in this battle;

  • Putin should never have attacked -THE KILLING OF INNOCENT PEOPLE IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. The overwhelming sanctions mean his people will suffer for years to come.
  • The West shouldn’t have poked the bear with its flirtations towards Ukraine. Either they accept Ukraine into Nato and provide immediate military support or they don’t. But half-arsed teases and the batting of sexy eyelashes merely put the poor Ukrainians into a vulnerable position.
  • Had Zelensky simply accepted Ukraine as a neutral zone there would have been no bloodshed. One might even say he used the blood of his people to keep his little EU love affair alive.

For years, Putin was clear that he would not accept NATO on his doorstep and that Ukraine would be the last straw. Ukraine as a neutral zone would be good for everybody and ensure worldwide stability. But Western powers couldn’t just live with the status quo, could they? After all Western policy is to makeover everyone else in our own image. We won’t rest until every country is merged into a big tacky Kardashian-flavoured latte.

We are all big wimps.

There are no winners here, but can there be any good to come out of this? Have we entered an era where the pen is truly mightier than the sword? Is there a glimmer of hope that for the first time in history a meme can be powerful enough to act as a deterrent to violence? Can future wars be ended by people power? Can we strengthen and keep this meme alive?

No need to wait for our leaders,

PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER.

The onetime front-woman for the all-female noise unit Crunch, Meg Lee Chin was also a member of the seminal industrial supergroup Pigface. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, her father was a US Air Force electronics engineer. Her mother was Taiwanese.