International PoliticsOpinionRussiaWorld/America

Volodymyr Zelensky Transforms Germany — and Europe

A Commentary By Michael Barone

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March 04-

It’s been a week since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Kyiv, and even Kharkiv, 20 miles from the Russian border, remain under Ukrainian control. Contrary to many predictions, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces have fallen short of their goals so far, but there can be no certainty about the outcome in Ukraine — or Russia.

What is clear is that there has been a vast and historic transformation in Europe, and especially in its largest nation, Germany, that will continue reverberating no matter what happens in Ukraine. Old policies have been cast aside as readily as last week’s garbage.

Credit for this goes to the Ukrainian people, who have been resisting the Russian attack, and especially to their president, the former comedian Volodymyr Zelensky. He has remained in Kyiv, refusing to flee to safety. When the United States offered to fly him out of Ukraine, he refused. “I want ammunition,” he said, “not a ride.”

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