Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wished the U.S. a “Happy Birthday” and offered gratitude for supporting his country’s war against Russia in an op-ed Monday in the Wall Street Journal.
“America’s Founders upended history when they forged a republic based on individual freedom and political pluralism, pledging to live as ‘free and independent states.’ It was, and is, the greatest attempt in history to rid mankind of tyranny,” Zelensky’s editorial began.
He went on to say, referencing the date of Russia’s unprovoked invasion, “On Feb. 24, 2022, we Ukrainians made the same choice. The American people stood with us and, I am sure, will stand with us to the end. Today, as Americans celebrate their freedom and independence, we celebrate with you and envision the day when every inch of Ukraine is free of the cruel tyranny that seeks to extinguish us.”
Zelensky’s editorial came as the Ukrainian President said in an interview with CNN that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reaction to Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s armed uprising two weekends ago was “weak.”
Along with Prigozhin himself, a reported 1,000 of his mercenary forces—most of whom are convicts who were freed for the purpose of fighting with Wagner—have also left Russia for Belarus, per an offer by Putin to drop all charges against them if they were to leave Russia for Belarus (as Prigozhin did), join the regular military through Russia’s Ministry of Defense or simply “go back to their homes.”
“All that vertical of power he used to have is just crumbling down,” Zelensky added in the interview that took place during his visit over the weekend to the Black Sea town of Odesa.
In his Journal editorial Zelensky added, “To Russian tyranny I say the world needs more, not less, American exceptionalism,” because, “When any tyrant hates America and denies its exceptional role in the struggle for freedom, he recognizes his own inevitable defeat.”