When the Ukraine-Russia War started in February, and quickly became so awful for the people living under bombings and occupation, one of the questions I had at the time is why more Ukrainians hadn't evacuated before the war began.
Zelenskyy: "Our land is the only thing we have. We will stay here together." https://t.co/uNoxkJbTWN— Cathie from Canada 🇨🇦 😷🏳️🌈 (@CathieCanada) August 19, 2022
...Zelenskyy resisted calls to relocate his government and was adamant that he not panic the public. Down that path, he thought, lay defeat.“You can’t simply say to me, ‘Listen, you should start to prepare people now and tell them they need to put away money, they need to store up food,’ ” Zelensky recalled. “If we had communicated that — and that is what some people wanted, who I will not name — then I would have been losing $7 billion a month since last October, and at the moment when the Russians did attack, they would have taken us in three days.... Generally, our inner sense was right: If we sow chaos among people before the invasion, the Russians will devour us. Because during chaos, people flee the country.”For Zelenskyy, the decision to keep people in the country, where they could fight to defend their homes, was the key to repelling any invasion.“As cynical as it may sound, those are the people who stopped everything,” he said.
Comments he made to The Washington Post justifying his failure to share with Ukrainians details of repeated U.S. warnings that Russia planned to invade [triggered] a cascade of public criticism unprecedented since the war began.Ordinary people tweeted their experiences of chaos and dislocation after an invasion for which they were unprepared, and described how they might have made different choices had they known what was coming.Public figures and academics wrote harsh critiques on Facebook of his decision to downplay the risk of an invasion, saying he bears at least some responsibility for the atrocities that followed....Many Ukrainians took exception to the implication that Zelensky had prioritized the health of the economy over their well-being, and suggested that many lives might have been saved had the government adequately prepared the population for war....The lack of warning for civilians living in the threatened areas, and especially those with children, the elderly and those with impaired mobility, was “not a glitch, not a mistake, not an unfortunate misunderstanding, not a strategic miscalculation — it is a crime,” said Ukrainian author Kateryna Babkina....Even those who said they understood why Zelenskyy didn’t want to provoke panic said they nonetheless wondered whether there were steps that could have been taken to alleviate the impact of the invasion — from preparing blood banks to digging trenches along the northern border to prevent Russian troops from overrunning many towns and villages before they were halted outside Kyiv....“My biggest question is about the level of atrocities we saw, and I think about whether they could have been prevented,” said Oksana, who did not vote for Zelenskyy but now supports him wholeheartedly as the leader Ukraine needs to win the war.“It will damage us to discuss this now,” she said. “Ukraine is winning because of our belief in the president and our armed forces. So I’m ready to wait for the explanation until after we win the war.”And then?“Then we start asking questions,” she said. “There are questions that need answers because this is the society we are fighting for — a society of accountability.”
Seems to me that the next seven days may be some of the more tense and dangerous for Ukraine than what we have seen in a while: a potential provocation involving the Zaporizhzhia NPP and a potential uptick in Russian missile attacks across the country on or ahead of 24 August.— Alexander Lanoszka (@ALanoszka) August 18, 2022