“When I was in Ukraine, I was speaking to a few Ukrainian intellectuals, historians, and others. One made a very interesting point to me … When Putin says Zelenskyy is a Nazi; in the West, we hear that [as] so ridiculous. He’s Jewish; how can he possibly be a Nazi? But when he’s saying that to Russians, it … sends a slightly different signal. … When you’re Russian, Nazism, the manifestation of Nazism, isn’t antisemitism so much; it’s this western decadence. And so when Putin says Zelenskyy is a Nazi, he’s saying Zelenskyy is the manifestation of this breed of Western decadence that we as Russians have to guard the world against.”
Elliot Ackerman served as a U.S. Marine Corps officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later in Afghanistan as a CIA paramilitary officer.
In this episode of “The Wide Angle,” he offers his strategic to ground-level insights on what decides who comes out on top in Ukraine.
His most recent novel is the New York Times bestseller “2034: A Novel of the Next World War