Isn’t Zelensky afraid of being killed? Perhaps less now, thinks Eastern Europe expert Bob Deen of the Clingendael Institute, because the situation is different now than in the first days of the battle.
“In the first two weeks of the war, Russia seemed eager to take Kiev and overthrow the government as quickly as possible. Zelensky himself indicated that he and his family were important targets and was also accused by the Americans for this. warned.”
Now that that attack on Kiev has been delayed, Zelensky seems to feel more secure, Deen says. “And not just him. The parliament also just comes together, and he is visited by the prime ministers of three countries. They also feel safe enough for that.”
According to Mart de Kruif, former commander of the Land Forces, there are other possible reasons why the president has remained unharmed so far. “Maybe they couldn’t reach it. Although that’s doubtful. The Russians have advanced technology to determine exactly where someone is.”
But Zelensky has a whole net of security measures around him. “Those video messages may have been posted with some delay after the president was brought back to safety. Live links kept coming in from one location somewhere. He probably never stays in one place for long.”
In the meantime, the Kremlin probably no longer has an interest in eliminating Zelensky, De Kruif thinks. “If they did it, they would have done it in the first days. Zelensky has now reached such a status that they risk a Salvador Allende effect.”
Salvador Allende was the president of Chile who was assassinated in a 1973 coup d’état but gained hero status. “Putin is not waiting for that. Especially if you want to negotiate, it does not help to kill the president because then it is immediately about that. In addition, someone else would just stand up in Kiev, the mayor, for example, Vitali Klitschko.”