He was elected in a landslide victory in 2019 on the promise of easing tensions with Russia and resolving the crisis in the breakaway republics in east Ukraine. He has made no attempt to keep his word on either issue. Instead, he has greatly exacerbated Ukraine’s internal crisis while relentlessly provoking Russia. Zelensky has had numerous opportunities to smooth things over with Moscow and prevent the outbreak of hostilities. Instead, he has consistently made matters worse by blindly following Washington’s directives.