The President’s career is never simple or cloudless, but Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s has become extraordinary since February 24, 2024. From the country’s controversial leader on the EU border, he turned into the person of the year according to the Financial Times , and there is already a collection of his quotes on the Internet .
By Article 102 of the Constitution of Ukraine , it is the guarantor of state sovereignty, territorial integrity of Ukraine, compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine, human and citizen rights and freedoms, as well as the implementation of the state’s strategic course to acquire full membership of Ukraine in the EU and NATO. Now the President of Ukraine is fully fulfilling his duties. That does not mean that citizens will not ask the question, including those about the failure to prepare Ukraine for a full-blown invasion sufficiently. The security services did not lay mines or blow up bridges along Russia’s lines of attack from the north and south, leading large swaths of territory to be captured quickly and easily by Putin’s troops. Today, Ukrainian society has given its President a big trust loan for defeating the enemy and gaining independence.
The active phase of the war began on February 24 and had various manifestations and layers. One of which is informative. Issues of information hygiene , security , and means of the so-called information war  arise more and more often. Here again, Russia has undeniably great experience in falsification, brainwashing, and myth-making [7, 8]. The flow of – and disruption caused by – Russian disinformation has significantly increased since Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
Internationally, governments rapidly recognized the disinformation threat in the context of Russia’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine. In response, they have highlighted narratives and tools used by the Russian government, sanctioned media, and personalities and supported media environments domestically and in Russia and Ukraine .
This means that the President must have a clear position on all issues and regularly articulate it at all levels. Moreover, his public statements should be such that, on the one hand, they do not raise doubts about the positions of Ukraine and its people. On the other hand, they show Ukraine’s openness to cooperation and allow our partners to help, complying with the requirements of international relations.
It also means that every step or event is related to Ukraine, or events in Ukraine are immediately covered in the media space of the Russian Federation, but with “necessary” assessments. For example, FT writes that:
The Russian resource at the exact moment persuaded readers that Zelensky paid for the title of “Person of the Year” with the lives of his citizens .
In recent years, the reflection and interpretation of any actions of Ukraine and its President, Russia, have always tried to create specific unattractive and aggressive images. In the last nine months, all this has taken on hypertrophied forms. This is how the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry commented on the decision to establish an international tribunal for Ukraine: “Issues of creating quasi-legal structures to serve certain whims and desires have long been heard. Its illegitimacy is absolutely obvious; for us, it will have no consequences.” 
That is why the war is raging not only on the territory of Ukraine but also in the information space, and all words must be thought out. Ukrainians fight here by creating memes and jokes on social networks, debunking lies, and disclosing fake news.
Moreover, the idea that the best impromptu is well-prepared is fundamental to all of Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s public speeches. As warns DW, after the Russian attack, the President of Ukraine became an icon of the struggle for freedom in the eyes of the West. Zelensky won sympathy with his emotionality and directness. Experts warn that these same traits can play a cruel joke on him .
So how to understand all these statements of the President when he says that he is ready for negotiations with Russia and then emphasizes that Ukraine will fight until victory? First, it is necessary to remember that Volodymyr Zelensky is a representative of the Ukrainian people who clearly stated his priorities – victory and independence. Next, it is worth checking all statements and news, being critical of information, and remembering that we are discussing diplomatic negotiations (which have certain rules, even under such conditions). It is also essential to observe the President’s rhetoric, which remains unchanged from February 24; the main postulates and messages do not change [13;14].
The information war is insidious because we do not see the dead and wounded, and its consequences are not always obvious. The principle of “divide et impera” becomes an imperative – to confuse everyone with everyone, make them doubt the words and actions of others and themselves, and then convince them of what is needed.
Sometimes it’s easier than it seems. Therefore, it is worth observing information hygiene and developing critical thinking.
And at the end, we remind you once again the position of the President is not the position of Volodymyr Zelensky – it is the position of the citizens of Ukraine. As long as it is not changeable, he will represent it more or less diplomatically, emotionally, or discreetly in informal communication or official speeches.
- Person of the year, Financial Times – accessed 04.12.22 – https://www.ft.com/content/9599247f-c3cb-4d3c-a0b6-771f0aac8699
- Top 55 Volodymyr Zelensky Quotes (UKRAINE) GRACIOUS QUOTES – accessed 01.12.22 – https://graciousquotes.com/volodymyr-zelensky/
- Конституція України, Відомості Верховної Ради України (ВВР), 1996, № 30, ст. 141- accessed 04.12.22 – https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/254%D0%BA/96-%D0%B2%D1%80#Text
- Andriy Tretyak Fake news and misinformation: what is information hygiene and how to keep it, PwC Ukraine – accessed 04.12.22 – https://www.pwc.com/ua/en/publications/2021/information-hygiene.html
- Giancarlo Elia Valori Cyberspace and world politics, Modern Diplomacy – accessed 02.12.2022 – https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2021/08/13/cyberspace-and-world-politics/
- Rid Thomas Wojna informacyjna , Wydawnictwo Bellona, 2022, 560s.
- Russia’s Prigozhin admits interfering in U.S. elections, Reuters, Nov 7, 2022– accessed 01.12.22 – https://www.reuters.com/world/us/russias-prigozhin-admits-interfering-us-elections-2022-11-07/
- Mark Landler and Stephen Castle ‘No One’ Protected British Democracy From Russia, U.K. Report Concludes, NewYork Times, July 21, 2020 – accessed 01.12.22 – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/21/world/europe/uk-russia-report-brexit-interference.html
- Disinformation and Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, OECD, 03 November 2022 – accessed 03.12.22 – https://www.oecd.org/ukraine-hub/policy-responses/disinformation-and-russia-s-war-of-aggression-against-ukraine-37186bde/
- В Совфеде напомнили, какую цену пришлось заплатить Зеленскому за звание «Человек года» Газета.RU 06.12.2022 – accessed 06.12.2022 https://www.gazeta.ru/politics/news/2022/12/06/19204279.shtml?updated
- В МИД РФ заявили о нелигитимности создания международного трибунала по Украине Газета Известия, 6.12.2022 – accessed 6.12.2022 https://iz.ru/1436410/2022-12-06/v-mid-rf-zaiavili-o-neligitimnosti-sozdaniia-mezhdunarodnogo-tribunala-po-ukraine
- Промови Зеленського: між політикою і емоціями DW, 15.04.2022 – accessed 05.12.22 https://www.dw.com/uk/volodymyr-zelenskyi-ochyma-nimtsiv-superheroi-yakoho-zanosyt/a-61481412
- Official Instagram of President Zelensky – accessed 06.12.2022 https://www.instagram.com/zelenskiy_official/
- Official portal of the President – https://www.president.gov.ua/en
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