by Finian Cunningham, Strategic Culture:
Zelensky would have been told, “Regrettably, we may not be able to protect you”, Finian Cunningham writes.
So CIA boss William Burns made a secret trip to Kiev in January last year to warn Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that his life was in danger from assassination. The clandestine meeting occurred only weeks before Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine.
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A new book that appears to have plenty of insider help from U.S. intelligence sources claims that Burns was sent on President Joe Biden’s orders to deliver a “reality check” to Zelensky.
Western news media are gullibly spinning the claim that Burns warned Zelensky that the Russians were plotting to kill him. The impact of the top secret briefing was said to have had a “sobering effect” on the man in Kiev. In less polite terms, he crapped in his pants.
Some questions arise, however, which the Western media as usual do not ask. Why was it deemed necessary for Burns to make a long and secret flight to Kiev to tell Zelensky of a purported Russian assassination threat? Why couldn’t the CIA director have briefed the Ukrainian leader about the danger in a phone call with a secure line? That Burns had to meet Zelensky in person suggests that the American spymaster wanted to convey another, unreported message, a message that only Zelensky would hear and one that could not be taped at any cost.
If the Russians wanted to kill Zelensky surely they would have done it by now during nearly 11 months of bloody conflict and given the evident capability of Russian missiles to hit anywhere in Ukraine?
Incongruously, the Ukrainian politician seems to be at ease in traveling around the country. Only last month he visited the frontline at Bakhmut where he obtained a battle flag from his troops that he then took a day later to Washington for a made-for-television presentation to Congress.
Are they the movements of a man who is really under threat of Russian assassination?
A partial explanation reported by Western media was that at the time of Burns’ trip to Kiev, Zelensky was doubting U.S. intelligence warnings of an imminent Russian invasion. Well not really “doubting” but, more accurately, not hamming up sufficiently. The CIA boss was reportedly dispatched to give the Ukrainian leader a reality check that Russian troops were poised to cross the then border into the Donbass eastern region. That telling implies that Zelensky was being complacent or disbelieving of a Russian threat.
But that telling is not correct. Zelensky was himself playing up the threat of a Russian invasion in the months and weeks leading up to February 24 when the Russian forces entered Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered that intervention because NATO-backed Ukrainian military was intensifying their eight-year campaign to terrorize the ethnic Russian people in the breakaway Donbass region.
Zelensky had been elected in 2019 on a platform of suing for a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian civil war. The war had been instigated in 2014 by the CIA-orchestrated coup d’état that brought to power a NeoNazi regime in Kiev.
After being elected, the comedian-turned-politician soon forgot his peace promises to the electorate with a little help from threats of assassination by the CIA-trained NeoNazi paramilitaries. He quickly transitioned from dove to hawk like a professional actor handed a new script.
Maybe Zelensky was getting cold feet and losing his nerve by the time of January last year. He would have known that U.S. and NATO military provocations against Russia and the spurning of Moscow’s diplomatic overtures by Washington and its European minions were leading to war. He did bridle somewhat against Washington’s incessant war drums saying that the “panic” was having an adverse effect on the Ukrainian economy. But that does not mean Zelensky was disbelieving U.S. intelligence. Far from it, he had up to then played along with it.
The reality check that Zelensky needed was to stiffen his nerves for what Washington was lusting for – a proxy war against Russia.
It seems more plausible that William Burns suddenly showed up in Kiev to maximize the intimidation. Washington wanted its proxy war against Russia to go ahead for bigger geopolitical reasons of preserving unipolar hegemony and cutting off Europe from Russian energy, and the Americans did not want their puppet in Kiev to blow it by running scared at the vital moment. Remember too that in April – two months after the conflict erupted – there were peace overtures from Zelensky to Moscow. That incipient diplomacy was promptly scuppered by the American paymasters using the British premier Boris Johnson as a conduit in a suspiciously timed visit to the Ukrainian capital. It seems like Zelensky’s pattern has been one of requiring a bit of ginning up every so often.