First, the original.
In Friday’s video, the changes (and similarities) are quite striking. Ukrainian forces have successfully pushed Russian forces away from Kyiv, where foreign embassies have been reopening and residents are spending more time outside than in bomb shelters.
But Ukraine has paid a heavy price, and intense fighting is raging in the eastern Donbas region with the outcome as yet uncertain. Which brings us to the “100 Days” video, via The Washington Post.
“The (parliamentary) faction leader is here, the head of the presidential office is here, Prime Minister [Denys] Shmyal is here, [Mykhailo] Podolyak is here, the President is here. Our team is much larger.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces are here. The most important thing is our people. the people of our state are here.
We have been defending Ukraine for 100 days already. The victory will be ours. Glory to Ukraine. Glory to heroes.”
Zelenskyy also shared photos of ordinary Ukrainians fighting Russians on various fronts on his official Telegram account.
“100 days of our resistance. 100 days of unity and an unbreakable spirit. During this time, the enemy has not managed to achieve a single one of their strategic goals. Instead, they have been unleashing their helplessness on civilian infrastructure and residents [of Ukraine].
Meanwhile, over these 100 days Ukraine has achieved the seemingly impossible, the thing that many people had no faith in. We stopped ‘the second largest army in the world,, liberated some of our territories, and are continuing to fight back courageously against the occupiers. I am grateful to everyone who has helped Ukraine stand and continue to defend their land on the hundredth day of the war. We will be victorious!”
On Twitter, the Ukrainian government sent out a powerful video message, thanking its supporters all over the world.
And how are Vladimir Putin and Russian media marking the 100th day of the invasion?
The independent Russian news website Meduza, operating out of Latvia, reported Thursday that Russian media has been ordered to downplay mention of the 100th day of the “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin’s administration has “asked” the editorial staff of state-controlled and pro-Kremlin media outlets “not to propagate the theme” of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine marking 100 days, and “not to focus” their audiences’ attention on the duration of the war.
These instructions were handed down on June 2, the eve of the Russian invasion entering its hundredth day. Four separate sources told Meduza about the Kremlin’s request: one from a state-controlled media outlet, one from the Moscow Mayor’s Office, one from a pro-Kremlin publication, and one from Putin’s administration itself.
Emphasizing dates related to the war may make Russians think about the aims and success of the invasion,” said Meduza’s source in Putin’s administration.
“When talking about milestones, questions always arise: what has been achieved by this date? It’s been like this since Soviet times, when there were five-year plans, plans for them, and so on. It turns out that right now there’s almost nothing to show by this date,” the source told Meduza. “You could say that some settlements have been taken, but their names don’t tell people anything. Is this a lot or a little? Are the aims of the ‘operation’ close or not?”
Per Meduza, the only news report mentioning Putin found on the front page of the official Tass news agency is one about the Russian president meeting with the chairman of the African Union, Senegalese President Macky Sali, to discuss the blockage of grain and fertilizer shipments.
Another official news agency, RIA Novosti, reported on a television interview in which Putin blamed a short-sighted U.S. policy for rising energy and food prices. There was no mention that this was the 100th day since the Russian invasion.