Espreso. Global

Illegitimate 2.0. How does Putin plan to disrupt peace agreements and continue war?

29 May, 2024 Wednesday

The sacred date of May 20 and talks about how much longer we will have to endure Volodymyr Zelenskyy before the first post-war elections are of interest not only to Ukrainians


Russian dictator Vladimir Putin went on the air with his own interpretation of the Ukrainian constitution and statements about the "illegitimate" one.

To be fair, it is worth recalling that Putin does not consider any Ukrainian president since the Revolution of Dignity to be legitimate. The person who made several "victories" through decorative elections did not notice that both Poroshenko and Zelenskyy won their positions in a free and democratic expression of will. When both winners had a number of competitors and a rather tough political struggle.

However, Putin clearly understood that Zelenskyy - who was perceived in the Kremlin as a clown, the host of "Blue Light" on Russian Channel One, a funny guy from KVN in leather pants - would not sign the kind of surrender that today's Russia would like. This scenario included the recognition of the annexation of Crimea, the so-called independence of Ukraine's eastern regions, a limit on the size of the Ukrainian army, bilingualism, a ban on joining NATO, and indefinite neutrality.

Among other things, there were attempts to force Ukraine to 'denazify' and introduce the cult of the Great Patriotic War - hello, flight caps and St George's ribbons from the recent past. Most importantly, however, Russia would bring a list of laws that Ukraine should change. Starting with the constitution.

Zelenskyy, who at the beginning of his term was quite loyal to negotiations and even some concessions, is not going to sign anything now. So Putin and his thugs pulled the mothballs argument out of their pockets. There was information that Yanukovych's plane had arrived in Minsk, where Putin was talking to Lukashenko. It is likely that if the ceasefire fails according to the Russian scenario, Putin will sign a "peace agreement" with the "legitimate" Viktor Yanukovych, who will be proclaimed president of the occupied part of Ukraine.

In order to sow chaos among Western elites and Ukrainian citizens, who are vulnerable to numerous Russian messages through TikTok and Telegram.

In order to revive his propaganda efforts, Putin decided to play the role of an interpreter of the Ukrainian constitution. The dictator hinted at Article 111 of the basic law, stating that, according to it, after the termination of the powers of the President of Ukraine, they seem to pass to the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada: "Therefore, according to a preliminary assessment, the only legitimate power [in Ukraine] is the parliament and the speaker of the [Verkhovna] Rada."

However, it is obvious that the constitution should be read more carefully. The transfer of presidential powers to the speaker is envisaged by Article 112, not 111, of the constitution. And only in a few exceptional cases - if the president suddenly becomes ill, resigns or dies. Zelenskyy is alive and well and has not written a statement saying "I'm tired, I'm leaving," so he can perform his duties until a new guarantor is elected.

The Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, as a person with a law degree and top authority, explained to Putin what was wrong with his statement.

In fact, this is a valuable explanation, because Putin is specifically using the "illegitimate" Zelenskyy theme to keep the war in Ukraine going when the West is really pushing him. And even if something is signed, he wants to find a way to get out of it and continue to wage the “special military operation" against the rest of the territories.

In this way, Putin is trying to sow doubts among his Western partners ahead of the summit in Switzerland, on which Volodymyr Zelenskyy has high hopes.

At the press conference with Lukashenko, Putin did not hide the fact that he wants to find a loophole to jump off any more or less fair peace. The Russian dictator said that "we will have to understand who to deal with in order to sign legally binding documents".

"And with whom to negotiate? We realize that the legitimacy of the current head of state has come to an end. I think that one of the goals of the conference in Switzerland is for the Western community to confirm the legitimacy of the current head of state, or not," Putin said sarcastically.

So the person who declared himself a tsar and revels in the blood of Ukrainians has actually admitted that he wants to continue to break us at the knees and commit genocide. He will look for ways to sow doubt among Western elites and leaders of the Global South. And most importantly, he will play on the emotions of Ukrainians, who are sometimes really tired of Zelenskyy's military incompetence. But everyone understands one important point: Ukrainians have agreed to endure the challenges of war with the current president. No one cares about the future of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, but everyone understands the threat of losing statehood in the event of defeat in the war with Russia.

Presidential elections are impossible due to security factors. We also obviously do not need elections in wartime, when the government controls the information space and there are no basic conditions for voting for millions of people in the war zone and abroad. Neither Ukrainians nor the guarantor himself need such "elections" and Zelenskyy's sole "victory" in them. Because in this case, Zelenskyy will be no better than Putin. 

Specially for Espreso

About the author: Maryna Danyliuk-Yarmolaieva, journalist

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the authors of blogs.

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