Zelensky’s attendance has more of a practical meaning than just reinforcing historically revisionist narratives about World War II since his discussions with the American, British, French, and German leaders will decide the coming escalations and the new peace process that might follow them by the end of summer.

A lot of media attention has been focused on the 80th D-Day anniversary considering its emotive significance and the participation of several international leaders at the event. Zelensky’s attendance alongside Biden and several of his Western European counterparts appears out of place since Ukraine had nothing to do with this operation. The only reason that he was invited was to advance NATO’s historically revisionist narrative about World War II and engage in a proxy war powwow.

To explain, the first refers to the false claim that the Western Allies were chiefly responsible for the Nazis’ defeat, not the Soviet Union. That twisted version of the truth has always been around but began to be fiercely propagated after 2014 and especially following the start of Russia’s special operation in 2022. This narrative was popularized in parallel with the one portraying the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, whose real importance was clarified here, as forging a Soviet-Nazi Alliance that made World War II possible.

It accordingly became unacceptable among the Western elite and opinionmakers to acknowledge the USSR’s role in defeating the Nazis. Since facts about the post-war order can’t be erased, however, they’ve instead taken to manipulating the events leading up to it in order to spin the tale that the First Ukrainian Front which played a leading role in the Battle for Berlin was a semi-independent force. To that end, they overlook that it was named as such for geographic reasons and instead claim that it was for ethnic ones.

Some Ukrainians’ collaboration with the Nazis is either ignored or dishonestly explained as “a misguided form of anti-Soviet resistance”, which combines with the preceding claim about the First Ukrainian Front to craft an entirely new narrative. In the average Western mind nowadays, Ukrainians were victims of the Soviets before World War II and then of the Nazis during it; semi-independent victors in that war; and then once again victims of the Soviets after it like the rest of Central & Eastern Europe (CEE).

The metanarrative that’s formed through the abovementioned means is to equate the USSR with Nazi Germany in terms of moral responsibility for starting World War II and then comparing the first’s prolonged military presence in CEE after the war with the Nazis’ brief but highly genocidal occupation. It’s upon this basis that Russia wasn’t invited to attend the 80th D-Day anniversary but Zelensky was since the latter’s participation reinforces these views in the Western imagination.

Having explained the historically revisionist reasons behind Zelensky’s invitation to Thursday’s event, it’s now time to segue into its practical importance with respect to the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine. He’s powwowing with the American, British, French, and German leaders precisely at the moment that those four are “escalating to de-escalate” as was argued here with a view towards coercing Russia into freezing the conflict on comparatively better terms for the West and Ukraine.

They already approved of Ukraine using their arms to strike targets in universally recognized Russian territory, France is considering a conventional intervention there, and US-backed Poland is mulling shooting down Russian missiles over Western Ukraine. At the same time, President Putin signaled openness to compromise so long as Russia’s interests are ensured, Estonian Prime Minister Kallas said that Ukraine might lose some of its territory, and Biden claimed that it might not even join NATO.

The reality that’s dawning on the West amidst Russia’s victory in the “race of logistics”/“war of attrition”, which even NATO chief Stoltenberg sheepishly admitted, is that this summer’s expected escalations might be their side’s last hurrah before they’re forced to reach some sort of compromise with Russia. Be that as it may, ideologically radicalized hawks decided to play a dangerous game of nuclear chicken this summer out of desperation to coerce it into concessions that could then be spun as a strategic victory.

This is the complicated military-diplomatic context within which Zelensky is meeting with the American, British, French, and German leaders in Normandy, which comes just a week before the next G7 Summit in Italy where more Western leaders will be in attendance as well as several others. These include the Brazilian and Turkish Presidents, the Indian premier, the Pope, and possibly also the Saudi Crown Prince, all five of whose countries have played roles in trying to mediate an end to the Ukrainian Conflict.

The Swiss “peace talks” will then begin right after the G7 ends, and less than a month later, the next NATO Summit will take place in DC. With this hectic schedule in mind, Zelensky’s attendance at the 80th D-Day anniversary conveniently enables him to discuss the Ukrainian dimension of these upcoming events with his top four patrons ahead of time, which will result in those five more effectively shaping the agenda in light of the complicated military-diplomatic context that was already explained.

The Brazilian, Turkish, Indian, and Vatican leaders’ participation in next week’s G7, as well as the Saudi Crown Prince’s possible attendance, can lead to one or some combination of those countries launching a hybrid Ukrainian peace process between the West and the Global South after the Swiss one inevitably fails. Bloomberg reported late last month that the EU wants Saudi Arabia to host inclusive talks, but each of the others also has strong arguments in their favor that could overshadow the Kingdom’s.

Turkiye earlier hosted Russian-Ukrainian talks, India is regarded as the Voice of the Global South, and the Vatican is widely considered (whether rightly or wrongly) to have high moral authority, but it might ultimately be Brazil that wins this diplomatic competition due to its hosting of this year’s G20. Last month’s joint Sino-Brazilian statement about their principles for resolving this conflict suggests that Beijing will work closely with Brasilia to ensure that its 12-step peace plan forms the basis of any talks.

It’s premature to predict which of those countries might successfully launch the hybrid peace process that could follow the doomed-to-fail Western-centric Swiss talks, but it appears inevitable that an alternative will arise in the aftermath of the aforementioned, and this will be discussed during the upcoming G7 and NATO Summits. Zelensky’s powwow with his top four patrons therefore gives them the opportunity to shape the agenda of those two events in the direction of their preferred option.

That’s not to suggest that he himself has any say in these matters, but rather that he’ll simply sit on his superiors’ discussions prior to being told what he has to say and do to advance their interests. Nevertheless, the importance of him attending the 80th D-Day anniversary is that he’ll be present for his patrons’ debate over whether to support the proposed hybrid process, and any objections could see them gang up against him to demand his choreographed exit from the political stage in that case.

His participation thus has more of a practical meaning than just reinforcing historically revisionist narratives about World War II since Zelensky’s discussions with the American, British, French, and German leaders will decide the coming escalations and the new peace process that might follow them. The outcome of their talks can only be speculated, but it’ll eventually be seen during next week’s G7 Summit and the NATO one that’ll follow it in early July, during which time everything will be clearer.




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