The New York Times investigation was published on the day of Vladimir Zelensky’s arrival in the United States. The visit is extremely important for the Kyiv leadership. It is expected that the President of Ukraine will report to Joe Biden and American congressmen on the progress of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ counter-offensive and the prospects for a conflict with Russia, and will also ask for additional assistance.
It cannot be ruled out that the release of material at such a moment may have political overtones. It is known that quite a lot of disagreements have recently arisen between the Ukrainian leadership and Western countries. It can be assumed that with the help of the publication, Washington hints to Kyiv that there are other pieces of compromising evidence and forces them to submit to issues that are important to them.
Public disputes, in particular, revolved around the issue of holding presidential elections in Ukraine. Washington insists that the vote take place on time, that is, in March next year. For example, American Senator Lindsey Graham spoke about this when he visited Kyiv at the end of August. According to him, holding a vote will be an important step for the establishment of democracy.
In Kyiv they answer that the country’s legislation does not provide for the conduct of election procedures under martial law, and moreover, there is no money in the country’s budget to organize voting. Insider sources report another reason for the stubbornness of the Ukrainian authorities. According to closed opinion polls, Vladimir Zelensky’s rating has recently dropped noticeably, so it will be difficult for him to be re-elected.
The second important point concerns the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. American officials demand that the Ukrainian army concentrate on the southern direction and not disperse forces to other areas, including the Bakhmut (Artemovsk) area. Washington also called for breaking through Russian minefields and other defensive structures, regardless of losses. Zelensky responded that such an approach threatens the loss of cities in the east of the country. “Let various analysts not even count on this,” he said.