How Zelensky is appealing to the world

Zelensky has repeatedly addressed parliamentarians since the war began: first he reminded MEPs that Ukraine belongs to the European family. Addressing the US Congress he spoke of Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Speaking to the British House of Commons, he quoted Churchill. And in the German Bundestag he spoke of a new wall that Putin was building across Europe. How effective is this strategy?

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Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

This is how crisis management is done

Other politicians should learn from the way Zelensky communicates, says Eesti Päevaleht:

“For the Ukrainians themselves, Zelensky's smile was probably most effective when he wished them a good morning outside the presidential palace after the first critical days. Now his charm is also working on the leaders of the West. The messages are master class: simple, clear and tailored to the audience. This is what functioning crisis communication must look like. Convincing, human, clearly understandable and honest. The waves of the war initiated by Russia will soon reach us in the form of refugees and economic shocks. It's time to learn from the professionals, so that this time crisis management doesn't deteriorate into a jumble of contradictory messages.”

The Guardian (GB) /

This gets under the skin

Zelensky's communicative strategy is very effective, notes The Guardian:

“Speaking by video to German MPs ..., the 44-year-old leader again displayed his habitual mix of passion, pride and defiance; of brutally vivid portrayals of his people's suffering; direct, straight-from-the-heart entreaties for more help; and inspiring invocations of common ideals and shared pasts, presents and futures. But it is his references to each country's history - and suggestion that this could all be happening to them - that have hit hardest. ... Some of his appeals, - notably for a no-fly zone, which Nato and the EU will not consider for fear of provoking direct conflict with Russia - may not have produced results. But none have fallen flat.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Careful not to dirty your hands

Despite Zelensky's moving appeal, Germany's politicians weren't moved to make concrete promises, criticises the Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

“What weapons could and should the Federal Republic supply to Ukraine? Will the German government stick to its refusal to impose an oil and gas embargo on Russia? ... These and other questions are preoccupying not only the Ukrainian head of state. ... But with the majority of their votes, the parliamentarians of the 'traffic light' coalition rejected the motion to interrupt the agenda. ... As representatives of a nation that has supposedly been purged by history they like to formulate expressions of solidarity but are extremely reluctant to actually dirty their hands.”

Népszava (HU) /

Hope is not yet victory

For Népszava, the Ukrainian president embodies a hope that has little chance of being fulfilled:

“Zelensky plays the role of the president doomed to die frighteningly well. As long as he is still breathing and is in Kyiv, the resistance is unbroken. Despite the growing number of victims and refugees and all the destruction, Ukrainians are increasingly confident: another week or two, or maybe a month or two, and Putin will bring his soldiers home. Even if objectively speaking there is little hope that this will really be the case.”