Volodymyr Zelenskyy: From a weak anti-war leader to a symbol of the fight for liberation by HOSAKA Sanshiro (Geoeconomic Briefing)

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategic goals regarding Ukraine have consistently been putting the country within Moscow’s sphere of influence — in other words, making it a vassal state of the Kremlin. Since 2013, after Ukraine’s approaches to the European Union became prominent, Russia has been working to pursue its goals through a variety of combinations of military and nonmilitary means. In that sense, Russia’s military occupation of the Donbas region of Ukraine, including the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, since 2014 is a tool but not a goal in any way. Putin attempted to achieve his strategic goals by embedding the people’s republics set up in those provinces — Russia’s puppet entities — into Ukraine’s state regime and making them exercise their veto power to Kyiv’s aspirations for joining the European Union and NATO.

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