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Zelensky and photo-op fatigue

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by Edward Steen, Secretary-General. Vienna, April 17, 2022

The irritations of the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, will be familiar to political stars of the past, from Lech Walesa to Aung San Suu Kyi. The queues of nearly-men like the neophyte Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer or damaged/ disgraced politicians anxious for absolution, all can waste whole days, from scandal-hit Boris Johnson to German President Steinmeyer (who was turned down). Above all they seek a sprinkling of political magic dust and a precious, photo-op with Volodymyr.

Dispenser of magic dust

But it has been recent interviews by journalists which have made waves with genuine insights into the mind of the man leading the battle for the West against a Russia  led by a man many regard as the most dangerous man in recent history, Vladimir Putin. Two of the most remarkable interviews have been by women, Anne Applebaum of The Atlantic, and the Economist’s first female editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes:

♦  Atlantic, 14/04/22 Applebaum intervew: Liberation without Victory 

♦  MSNBC 13/04/22 Zanny Minton Beddoes:  “The most extraordinary interview I have ever done”.

♦  Economist interview 28/03/22  and leading article 16/04/22: “In the shattered ruins of Mariupol and Kharkiv a worldview is also at stake.”




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