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Opinion
Andreas Kluth

Lula Can't Tell Vladimir from Volodymyr

Having defended democracy at home, Brazil inspired hope that it might sympathize with the struggle for freedom elsewhere too. Apparently not.

Scholz and Lula, not quite brothers-in-arms.

Scholz and Lula, not quite brothers-in-arms.

Photographer: Bloomberg

With democrats like Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who needs autocrats? Shame on Lula for pretending that Kyiv, NATO and the European Union are as much to blame for Russia’s genocidal war against Ukraine as the wannabe Tsar in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin. Shame on Lula for doing nothing to help Ukraine. 

Lula was sworn into his old job — he was already president between 2003 and 2010 — only one month ago. That followed the four-year stint of right-wing populist Jair Bolsonaro — “the Trump of the Tropics.” A week after Lula took over, pro-Bolsonaro mobs even ransacked federal buildings in Brasilia, in a farcical reprise of the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. When Brazil’s institutions — and Lula — withstood that assault, much of the democratic world exhaled in relief.