Well-practiced strategy of Volodymyr Zelensky before the Western Parliament

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and the speech to the European Parliament on March 1, Volodymyr Zelensky has stepped up his international diplomatic campaign. A week after the daily intervention, before the US Parliament, the German House of Representatives, the Swiss, Israeli and Italian Parliaments, the President of Ukraine speaks in front of the Parliament and the French Senate at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, March 23.

>> Find the latest information about the Ukrainian War at our live

Every time a standing ovation was given, the President of Ukraine always went to a video conference from Ukraine in his language (simultaneously translated) as a military commander sitting in front of his country’s flag in military khaki clothes. Intervene. The technique is well established. Everywhere he applies the same recipe.

Personalized historical reference

In each of his speeches, Volodymyr Zelensky personalizes his remarks according to the audience.It evokes important events and popular personalities known to most people, for example. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and playwright William Shakespeare are outside the British House of Commons.

At the American Congress, he remembers how much America owns “A page where you can understand Ukrainian”1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor, September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Martin Luther King’s famous speech “I Have a Dream”.

In front of the federal parliament, he begs “Destroy this wall” Built in Central Europe. A reference to a speech by US President Ronald Reagan, who asked his Russian correspondent to destroy the Berlin Wall in 1987.

Some of his references are not unanimous.Before Knesset in Israel, Volodymyr Zelensky went to Israel “Make your choice”Emphasizes his own Jewish heritage. “The Kremlin uses Nazi terminology. The Nazis were talking about the” final solution “of the Jewish problem. You will never forget it. And now Moscow is talking about Ukraine’s “final solution”. “ He hits with a hammer. A Comparison with the judged Holocaust “Scandalous” According to Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel.

Common appeal to emotions

“These references” talk “to different audiences and cause strong emotions. analysis of franceinfo Tatiana Kastouéva-Jean, a researcher at the French Institute for International Relations (Ifri). They appeal to the deepest trauma of others, their historical memories, and evoke empathy and desire to help Ukrainians against repeated historical tragedy. ”

“Communication is the Ukrainian’s main weapon in this war, and Zelensky has mastered it wonderfully, which has already helped him win the information and moral war.”

Tatiana Kastouéva-Jean, Researcher at Ifri

on franceinfo

Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized empathy, especially in one speech, to raise awareness of the Ukrainian cause. A speech before the US Congress on March 16th.2 minutes 30 seconds out of a total of 6 minutes broadcast by American television CNN (In English), The President of Ukraine broadcast a video summarizing shocking images of Russia’s bombing in Ukraine, the resurrection of the injured, and the bodies of dead children.

“We need to be aware that Ukrainian society and its political class are in traumatic shock. For Ukraine, we are in a historic moment. I remember Alexandra Gujon, a lecturer in political science at the University of Burgundy. Ukraine, from independence to war (Ed. Blue Rider, November 2021). The broadcast of the image is commensurate with what many Ukrainians feel. They are afraid to be forgotten or abandoned when they know what they owe to Western support. These images are used as arguments to justify the requested help. ”

Specific requests for each

According to Alexandra Gujon, two objectives motivate the Ukrainian president’s diplomatic offensive. at first, “Securing the support of Western partners, especially military support”.. Next, “In terms of sanctions, ensure the firmness of Westerners against Russia.”

The President of Ukraine makes a specific request to each parliament. In the United States, the creation of a no-fly zone over Ukraine.In Germany, Zelensky will stop the NordStream2 gas pipeline project, which it thinks: “New wall cement” It separates the east and the west and is reminiscent of the ghosts of the Cold War.After making a comparison with the children of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the military commander talked about the fate of “97 children” Ukrainians killed in bombardment “School, hospital, home”.

Diplomatic activities that started long ago

The pace was maintained with a weekly speech on March 14th. However, these interventions are not new to the President of Ukraine and emphasize Alexandra Gujon. “Since the 2019 election, Volodymyr Zelensky has been’aggressive’diplomacy. Before the war, he made many moves. Turn back Ukrainian specialist. He knows that the support of Western partners is fundamental to his relationship with Russia. “

His speech in the Western Parliament is not necessarily due to the Ukrainian solicitation. Speaking in front of the European Parliament, for example, “Quite standard and normal”, Olivier Ecosta, Research Director of CNRS, recalls. “In monthly sessions, heads of state, activists, exiled presidents, popes, etc. are often invited to speak in connection with current events.”

On the contrary, Wednesday’s speech to the French parliamentarian, Volodymyr Zelensky, “”Something special “, franceinfo Valéria Faure-Muntian highlights, LREM MP for Loire, originally from Ukraine.According to Olivier Costa, the interests of the President of Ukraine are “Opinions are not only communicated to the media and government, but also persuade people to vote for support plans at the national level and thus for the budget.”.. European Parliament experts conclude: “You must have an ally.”