How much longer has Zelensky got with his so-called special relationship with western elites and NATO? It is a popular notion among geopolitical experts that the relationship is beginning to sour as in recent weeks there have been a number of indicators which hint that the marriage of convenience may well be on the rocks.
This is not because he didn’t go to the coronation of King Charles, but chose to send his wife, although this will be noted in the circles of power in London. No, you have to go back farther to the end of February where relations began to fray when the Ukrainian president actually announced on media that he wanted to reach out of the Chinese Premiere Xi in that hilarious “call me” article. This is the greatest indicator that his time is running out with western elites who are supplying him with less and less equipment and ordinance not least because their own stocks are so absurdly low that their own countries now cannot defend themselves from any attack with a British general recently revealing in the UK press that Britain only had “about 22 hours of ammo” in any conflict situation. The “call me” article spooked the West so much that in a matter of days NATO secretary general announced “Ukraine will be a NATO member” which was such an absurdity that even Zelensky himself had to unpack the comment later on and toned it right down.
Then there was the leaked Pentagon papers which I have argued are fake. Did Zelensky organise this leak so as to put pressure on the US to speed up an arms shipment, as well as embarrass the West by “revealing” Egypt’s plans to send rockets to Ukraine to help Russia? Certainly a more realistic argument than an uneducated American serviceman putting them on the net to settle a score although we should not dismiss the idea that the soldier was used as a conduit.
What is more solid ground and explains the impasse which I believe we’re witnessing now is on the battlefield of Ukraine. The West was certainly hoping by now, with just months away from Biden’s re-election campaign starting, that he would have something to show voters in the US who are confused how there could be half a million US citizens homeless while well over 100bn dollars has been blown on military aid to Ukraine. But rather than token victories, Zelensky only has defeats.
More recently we have witnessed the capture of Bakhmut by Russian forces with heavy losses on both sides. NATO bosses and western leaders must be wondering if one more town like Bakhmut falls what does that do to troop morale. Does it have a domino affect and bring the whole thing crumbling down? Zelensky and Biden both desperately need a victory in Ukraine but this prospect seems more and more unlikely and so unorthodox methods are likely to be relied upon more in the future. The amateur drone attack on the Kremlin is a good example. Zelensky is torn between being responsible for a full blown WWIII scenario (which he has provoked a number of times in the past such as the missile attack on Poland) or going to the Chinese for a peace deal. The latter though will cost him heavily as Xi is only interested in peace in return for rich pickings, commercially speaking which we learnt from when the phone call with Xi finally came.
For Stoltenberg or even Biden this must have been a pivotal moment which they could hardly believe. It told them both that Zelensky is an ally in only the broadest sense and an ungrateful brat into the bargain who cannot be trusted at the best of times. To appeal to Xi for a peace deal means that even Zelensky himself doesn’t hold out much hope for both his relations with West to last too long and for the actual battle on the ground to stay as it is. What is interesting though is that western elites who also have a large stake in him and Ukraine are also getting nervous.
Was it just nothing more than a coincidence that Zelensky’s wife was sent to the coronation in London? Or is even the UK, a stalwart supporter of him and Ukraine, now starting to revaluate the relation after the Xi call?
This would be one explanation as to why a British government minster recently made a shocking admission to the press that some of the weapons that the UK was sending to the Ukraine were not getting there but being sold on black markets in eastern Europe.
Recently, UK Armed Forces Minister James Heappey admitted that some arms shipments supplied to Kiev by its Western backers could have changed hands before they reached the frontline. He did not clarify the exact amount or types of arms that have allegedly been rerouted.
His reaction came not from a request from media, but from a Scottish MP Kenny MacAskill who asked the minister to estimate the proportion of British military aid sent to Ukraine that had been resold before reaching the nation’s troops.
Heappey replied somewhat vaguely that the UK has “robust procedures” in place to ensure that all assistance going through the International Donor Coordination Centre is handed over to the Ukrainian army.
However, he admitted that “there have been isolated reports” – although extremely rare – saying that equipment given to Ukraine had been diverted away from the front line without giving any more details.
My own investigation in the Daily Mail in July 2022, concluded that there are shipments of UK and US weapons making their way to black markets and turning up in Syria in the hands of pro western jihadists fighting Assad’s forces. The Ministry of Defence, when I asked them to clarify, were also incredibly vague about giving any details but along with a former intelligence officer I interviewed said there were no tracking devices as such in the equipment – something which seems to be very hard to believe. My experience is that my own government lies to me and that a number of MPs I contacted became nervous and retracted their willingness to contribute to my investigation once they knew exactly the subject. It is quite likely that Heappy is lying about the limited numbers as it is more than likely that the MOD is lying about no tracking devices installed.
What is more realistic to believe is that relations between London and Kiev are also waning. It is one thing to allow the cabal of Zelenksy’s to resell some of the kit being sent to fund their own activities and sustain rock star lifestyles when the odds seemed to be in the favour of the Ukrainian army; but quite another when the battle seems to have turned in Russia’s favour and Zelensky is making calls to China for help. That is not biting the hand that feeds you but rather cutting if off and throwing it to filthy dogs in your street to devour.