Zelensky Rebukes Biden, Saying He Knows More About Threat to Ukraine

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Volodymyr Zelensky is in a tough spot. The Ukrainian President has been made a pawn piece by the Democrats over the past few years, first to attack President Donald Trump over his call to Zelensky regarding Joe Biden’s intervention in Ukraine. Now, he’s having to deal with less than perfect support from Joe Biden that seems to greenlight Russian aggression, and not backing the Ukrainian position on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

But more than that, there seems to be a basic disagreement on the nature of the threat to Ukraine from Russia.

I reported Thursday night on the call between the two leaders that CNN said did not go well, with Biden making dire claims about the threat, and Zelensky not agreeing. Both the White House and the Ukrainians disputed the claim that the call did not go well. Then Joe Biden released a picture of the call but as we noted, that was raising questions because there appeared to be trees in full bloom outside the window, and D.C. is in the middle of winter.

But on Friday, Zelensky made it very clear that he had disagreed with Biden on the nature of the threat, and he rebuked Biden’s fear-mongering, saying that he, Zelensky, should know better what’s going on than Biden.

“I am the President of Ukraine. I am based here. I think I know the details deeper than any other president,” Zelensky said.

Journalist Christopher Miller further expanded on what Zelensky had said on the issue in the press conference.

Zelensky is saying: yes, there’s a threat, but he doesn’t think the threat is any worse than 2014.

He’s saying he doesn’t want to be a pawn in a kicking contest between Biden and Putin.

So, how real is the threat? There are more than 100,000 troops perched on their doorstep. Russia has moved troops into places like Belarus. Zelensky does have to say things to calm his people and keep things in check. But at the same time, he’s telling Biden: stop ramping up the fear porn because it’s only making things worse and panicking people.

So, that part of the CNN report — that Zelensky wants Biden to calm his jets on the hyping the threat — seems to be very true.