So many Ukrainians to sympathize with or aid Russia illustrates that what is going on is a civil war

11:44 04.08.2022 •

President Zelensky fired two top law enforcement officials

The large number of Ukrainian personnel helping the Russians. But the way this vast security state has been empowered by the war to turn its malevolent gaze on Ukrainian citizens — whether guilty of sympathy for Moscow or not — is chilling. So many Ukrainians to sympathize with or aid Russian assault on Ukraine illustrates that what is going on is, in part, a civil war as well as a foreign invasion, writes “The Federalist”.

Since the war began in February, American sympathy combined with the stiffer-than-expected struggle put up by Ukrainian forces and Zelensky’s deft public relations campaign has reinforced the message that the Kyiv government is a democracy whose defense is essential to Western security.

Yet the question to be posed about this is not whether Russia and Putin are bad but whether Ukraine is the paragon of democracy Biden says it is.

That’s what made the appearance of a story about Ukraine in The New York Times this past week, which showed a different side of Zelensky’s government, so significant. The story, titled “Zelenskyy Fires Two Top Law Enforcement Officials,” buried the lead. The New York Times emphasized the fact that this was the first government shakeup in Kyiv since the war started as well as the fact that one of the two people fired was a boyhood friend of Zelensky.

But while that is true, the substance of the story was that the sympathy and support for the Russians among a not insignificant portion of the Ukrainian population and members of the security services has damaged the war effort.

The New York Times discussed how paranoia about potential Russian spies had spread throughout Ukrainian society. The latest dispatch made clear just how much of an issue this had become. It’s one thing to report about 200,000 spy allegations being submitted to Ukrainian authorities every month. Zelensky’s sacking of security measures made clear how “treason” cases have become something of an obsession for the Ukrainian government.

Even more alarming is the fact that several hundred of these treason investigations involved security personnel. Many Ukrainian officials, including those who were employed by the prosecutor’s office, remained behind in Russian-occupied territory and are now working for Moscow.