National Security

From Tragedy to Farce in Ukraine

Not a guy I usually quote a lot, Karl Marx got one thing right in keeping with the blind squirrel rule. He said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” In Ukraine, after the tragedy of Russia effectively slicing off an eastern part of the nation, we now have a man whose primary job before this week was farce (he played the president on a TV show) elected real-life president on Sunday in a landslide.

Volodymyr Zelensky beat the pro-Western NATO fan incumbent, Petro Poroshenko, with a massive 73 percent of the vote. He campaigned on anti-corruption, economic progress, and working to end the crisis with Moscow over the eastern region of Donbas. He was backed by a very influential Ukrainian media mogul, Ihor Kolomoisky. The tycoon noncoincidentally owns the station Zelensky appeared on.

That makes Ukraine, Italy and the U.S. (as Trump could have had a career as a Borscht Belt ace) all nations with leaders who can yuk it up with the best of them. Two of them, sadly not the U.S., have leaders who were actual working comedians, Beppe Grillo of the Five Star Movement in Italy and Zelensky.

The incumbent opined that the Russians may approve of the new guy, as he wouldn’t deal with the Kremlin as roughly as he had. Not so fast, Petro. Vlad loves an enemy who is no real threat, like you. Thus Putin uses him as a convenient whipping boy on a host of levels. The new guy in the Ukraine starts with a clean slate and goodwill from the electorate, given his overwhelming mandate. So if he does wake up and smell the Stoly he won’t be so easy to cast as the bad guy.

The membership in NATO and the EU that the incumbent championed? Well, bringing another country on the Russian border into NATO may be overreach, and what sane government would want to belong to the EU now anyhow? Staying out of each would make Moscow less belligerent on the Donbas question and a deal might be struck for the membership status quo in exchange for a Russian pullout.

And something does have to be done about the issue. Up to now, tough posturing or not, nothing has worked and the Russians still occupy the region. They made their move there around the time they also stole the Crimea away from Ukraine in 2014, a naked aggression so blatant the snickering emanating from the Kremlin must have been deafening.

So we’ll see where this TV star goes with his policies and politics. If former TV stars in office as of late are any indication, he may not do badly at all.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
David Kamioner

A veteran of service with US Army Intelligence, the Pershing Nuclear Brigade, and the First Infantry Division, Kamioner is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s European Division and spent over twenty years as a political consultant, college instructor, non-profit director, and corporate PR director. He hails from New York City and grew up in South Florida. He served with the American Red Cross as part of the relief effort for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. For several years he ran homeless shelters, most recently homeless shelters for US military veterans. He currently is a Senior Contributor for, a writer for American Greatness, and has been published in LifeZette. He is the author of the novel "Prisoner of the Chattering Class" and lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

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