A Ukrainian Government-In-Exile Without Zelinskiy Will Be Ignored By The World

As the United States and her NATO allies have been quietly making preparations for a possible Ukrainian government-in-exile, Kiev has been less than prompt in making its own plans. Over the last few days this looks to be changing. According to personal sources in the Polish government, a core group of Ukrainian government officials is now on the ground in eastern Poland and in Warsaw. The purpose of their presence is to lay groundwork for a Ukrainian government-in-exile, should the nightmare scenario of Russian occupation of the homeland become reality.

Naturally, the government in Kiev has remained silent on the subject. If Ukrainians would learn that their government is preparing for an imminent departure it would have a tremendously negative effect on national morale. Volodymyr Zelenskiy is not partial to the idea of a government-in-exile. When the US urged him to leave Kiev rather than run the risk of capture or death, he refused. His statement of defiance still rings loudly in the ears of the Free World. “The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride.”

But is Zelenskiy’s stance the proper one for his nation? His rise to international fame as a wartime leader has made him a symbol of Ukraine and its courageous defenders. He holds far too much political value to remain in Kiev as the Russians close in on the city. If the capital, and consequently the entire country, falls, Zelenskiy will be needed to pick up the pieces and lead the efforts of a government-in-exile. Remaining in Kiev and perhaps dying in the defense of the city would make him a martyr. In the short term, Zelenskiy’s death could rally Ukrainians into one final push to save their beleaguered homeland.

However, Zelenskiy would be of greater value at the head of a government-in-exile because he is the legitimate leader. The Ukrainian people elected him and in the process of casting their votes, gave Zelenskiy something the Russians can never erase: Legitimacy. Of the current crop of Ukrainian politicians and government officials, none hold a candle to Zelenskiy in terms of popularity and ability. This truth needs to be hammered into his mind now while there is still time to depart the capital before the inevitable battle for it commences.

Otherwise, any Ukrainian government-in-exile that forms without Zelenskiy will be destined to a short life. A free and independent Ukraine will be forever relegated to the dustbin of history.

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