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Who is Simon Shuster - Author of controversial article in Time about Zelenskyy

Who is Simon Shuster - Author of controversial article in Time about Zelenskyy Simon Shuster and Volodymyr Zelenskyy during their trip to Kherson in December 2022 (Photo:

A recent article by journalist Simon Shuster about President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the world's war weariness has caused quite a stir in Ukraine. The article is labeled as manipulative, and the author's views are seen as subjective. The reporter worked in Russia for a long time and was previously known for his controversial materials.

For more details about Simon Shuster and his work, see the material below from RBC-Ukraine.

The following sources were used in the preparation: material from Time magazine, the Detector Media portal, a statement by the advisor to the head of the President's Office, Mykhailo Podolyak, a statement by the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksii Danilov, and Simon Shuster's social media page.

What Shuster wrote about

On October 30, an article was published in Time magazine in which correspondent Simon Shuster analyzes the course of the war in Ukraine, international support, and problems within our country, such as the situation with corruption and mobilization, among other issues. The author of the material relies on statements made by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and anonymous sources.

The article discusses the Ukrainian leader supposedly feeling "betrayed by his Western allies," stating that they "have not left him with the means to win the war, only the means to survive it."

Who is Simon Shuster - Author of controversial article in Time about ZelenskyyThe cover of Time magazine features a new article about Zelensky titled "Nobody Believes in Our Victory Like I Do" (

Time also provides comments from unnamed representatives from the president's circle regarding the challenges with the counteroffensive. Reportedly, some frontline unit commanders refuse to follow orders to advance, even if they come from the President's Office. The article notes that mobilization efforts have nearly ceased after Zelenskyy dismissed military officials.

Additionally, the article mentions that during Zelenskyy's visit to Washington, the American side set conditions for further assistance to Ukraine, including anti-corruption reforms. Following this, control over the work of Ukrainian officials was strengthened. However, an unnamed presidential advisor told Time that corruption continues.

Ukraine's reaction

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the head of the President's Office, called Schuster's article a "subjective point of view" and expressed doubts about the credibility of information from anonymous sources used in the material.

A representative of the President's Office also disagreed with the notion that Zelenskyy allegedly "feels betrayed by allies" in the context of the supply of military aid to Ukraine. Mykhailo Podolyak emphasized that the "president takes a hard view of the fact that we have been at war for 600 days."

In his opinion, the emphasis in Simon Schuster's article was misplaced.

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov commented on the situation regarding the purported halt in mobilization and the shortage of personnel in the military mentioned in the article. He stated that there were currently no such problems.

"As for the conscription, we are not reducing the number of people in the security and defense sector. Will there be problems? This is a question that may arise over time. How significant they will be and how they can affect various things, we will see then," Danilov emphasized.

A native of Moscow. What is known about Simon Shuster?

Simon Shuster was born in Moscow in 1989. After his family emigrated to the United States, he lived in San Francisco and studied at Stanford University.

Starting in 2006, Shuster worked in Russia and wrote for publications like The Moscow Times, Associated Press, and Reuters. He focused on covering the political situation in Russia.

In 2013, he began working with Time magazine. After the onset of the war in eastern Ukraine in 2013, he dedicated his work to covering these events. He wrote an article titled "In Russia, Crime Without Punishment" about the downing of the Malaysian Boeing 777 near Donetsk, after which he was banned from entering Russian territory.

With the full-scale aggression by Russia in Ukraine, Simon Shuster spent a significant amount of time in Ukraine. In April 2022, he spent two weeks in the Office of the President, where he interacted with President Zelenskyy and his associates. Subsequently, the journalist wrote an article about the Ukrainian president for the May issue of Time, and Zelenskyy's photo appeared on the cover.

Who is Simon Shuster - Author of controversial article in Time about Zelenskyy

The cover of the May 2022 issue of Time magazine (

The cover of the May 2022 issue of Time magazine featured Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Interestingly, Zelenskyy had previously appeared on the cover of Time in 2019. At that time, an article titled "The Man in the Middle. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on being caught between Putin and Trump" was also written by Simon Shuster.

For 2023, Simon Shuster has announced the release of his book about Zelenskyy titled "When the World Watches: Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the War in Ukraine."

It's worth noting that Simon Shuster received a state award from the President of Ukraine. In 2022, Volodymyr Zelenskyy honored the American journalist with the Order "For Merits" (Third Degree).

Other articles by journalist

Simon Shuster has a history of writing controversial articles about Ukraine. In the past, he portrayed the Maidan protests as violence and raised questions about whether the West or Russia could stop it. Shuster asserted that right-wing radicals had taken over the Maidan movement.

In February 2014, he published an article claiming that Ukraine was heading towards a civil war, and he covered the events in Crimea.

In March 2014, Shuster published an article titled "Many Ukrainians Want Russia to Invade."

In 2018, in another Time article, Shuster accused the Azov battalion of being associated with Nazism.

Who is Simon Shuster - Author of controversial article in Time about Zelenskyy

A screenshot of the Time magazine article from March 2014