Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s behavior has reportedly been a source of annoyance for Washington, as he frequently ignores their advice and issues demands that they find unreasonable. This news was reported by CNBC, which cited anonymous officials familiar with the matter. One incident that particularly angered Washington was when Zelensky criticized NATO leadership before their summit in Lithuania last month. He argued that it was “unprecedented and absurd” that the US-led bloc had not offered Ukraine a timeline for membership. This outburst did not sit well with US officials and left them “very annoyed.”
The UK, a traditionally supportive ally of Ukraine, also expressed sharp criticism in response to Zelensky’s comments. In fact, the Washington Post reported that the US considered withdrawing its support for Ukraine’s eventual membership in NATO as a result of Zelensky’s behavior.
According to CNBC’s sources, the clash between Washington and Kiev is not a one-time occurrence. There have been several instances of disagreements between the two since the conflict with Russia began last year. The Ukrainian government has been disregarding or not addressing US concerns despite strong advice against certain actions, and then complaining about not being involved in NATO talks.
One example of such disagreement was the battle for the Donbass city of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut in Ukraine. Pro-Ukraine military analyst Konrad Muzyka explained that the US strongly advised against fighting certain battles in the way Russia wanted, as it could lead to significant casualties and ammunition expenditure. However, Zelensky insisted on defending the city despite mounting casualties. Eventually, Wagner Group fighters captured the city in May.
As a result of this disagreement, Ukraine suffered heavy casualties, exhausted a significant amount of artillery munitions, and had limited support for their forces in the Bakhmut area. By the time Ukraine decided to launch its counteroffensive against Russian forces in June, the US knew that they were unprepared. Initially, Zelensky claimed that Ukrainian troops would penetrate Russian lines and cut off their access to Crimea. However, as the battle progressed slower than expected, Zelensky blamed Western patrons for not providing enough weapons and ammunition for success.
Zelensky’s dissatisfaction with the level of aid provided to Ukraine became evident in an interview with Brazil’s Globo News broadcaster. He stated, “As long as the war continues, nothing can be enough.” This remark reflects the frustration felt by the Ukrainian president and his government in their ongoing struggle against Russia.
In summary, Ukrainian President Zelensky’s conduct has reportedly frustrated US officials in Washington. They believe that he repeatedly ignores their advice and makes demands that they find unreasonable. These tensions have been evident in various incidents, including Zelensky’s criticism of NATO leadership and his dissatisfaction with the level of support from Western allies. The ongoing conflict with Russia has further strained the relationship between Ukraine and the US, with disagreements over military strategy and aid allocation.