The problem with lionizing Navalny and snubbing Zelensky at Oscars

Putin’s eventual fall from power will not absolve the Russian people of these sins. But it may present a pivotal moment where the Russian people will be faced with the question of what kind of society they want to live in. Will they continue a centuries-long tradition of unbridled violence against their neighbors? And what role will Navalny and other Russian opposition members play in a post-Putin Russia, if at all?

Zelensky’s Lessons for Human Rights Advocacy

Having worked as a stage performer and actor for most of his career, the Ukrainian president’s communications skills have proven to be world class. He could teach us all.

What I do with three-hour PowerPoint presentations, Zelensky does it with three-minute videos. His experience as a comedian surely helps him tick all the boxes of advocacy. Eye contact, speech cadences and sonorities, and body language are essential to persuasion. But beyond this, Zelensky successfully deploys the advocacy toolkit …

These tools and tips help build strong advocacy. In themselves, however, they cannot guarantee success. To be fully effective, you need a vision and priorities.

Zelensky has managed to do this. He’s given people a sense of purpose.

Sean Penn says US has to accept ‘level of shame’ for not arming Ukraine faster

Penn’s film represents a serious attempt to tell the story of Ukraine and its charismatic leader, including an extraordinary interview with a clearly exhausted Zelenskiy in a tiny side room at some point on the first day of the Russian invasion.

“He wants us to be dead,” Zelenskiy said in the encounter, referring to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and it is not clear if the Ukrainian leader is referring to himself and his team – or the entire country. “Sanctions are not enough,” the leader added, the first of many pleas for western help to save his embattled nation.

The Profound Defiance of Daily Life in Kyiv

“The technology is now so advanced that Ukrainian citizens can know, more or less in real time, where the Russian missiles are coming from and generally where they’re going. In this case, Russia had just launched some seventy missiles, headed to sites all over Ukraine. The assumption was that they were directed at power substations, meant to cripple the country’s electrical grid. Vladimir Putin’s recent strategy has been to knock out the power in the depth of winter in hopes of breaking the spirits of everyday Ukrainians.

So far this strategy has not worked.”

John Sung Kim: What Elon Musk and others in Silicon Valley get wrong about Ukraine

Xi Jinping will invade Taiwan within a few years. And Putin will then invade Moldova, then Georgia, then Serbia, and let’s not forget Kazakhstan, with some of the largest oil reserves of the post-Soviet states. 

North Korea, where my family is originally from, and many other countries, will scramble for nuclear weapons.

This is not a regional conflict.

The West promised Ukraine protection for giving up its nuclear arsenal in the 1990s. Europe made a bargain with Putin for cheap energy for nearly two decades. We’ve all played our part in giving rise to a tyrant who makes a Bond villain look second-rate.

And now we’re putting it all on the Ukrainians?

I know the wealthy have a lot to lose, but their children stand to inherit more than their parents’ money. They could end up living in a post-Putin world where everyone from rogue nations to gangsters can threaten to go nuclear. 

Now is the time to be brave.

Addressing Putin’s Nuclear Threat: Thinking Like the Cold War KGB Officer That He Was

The unfortunate reality is that Putin can’t be stopped without significant costs, but allowing him to normalize the use of weapons of mass destruction would start the inevitable clock to a direct and possibly catastrophic US-Russian conflict. It is a strategy that could require yet further investment of American blood and treasure today in requiring Putin to face consequences designed to prevent a full-scale war and potential nuclear escalation, but costs that are necessary to preserve international peace and security in the long term.