Ukrainians, Western states badly disappointed in Zelensky — German newspaper


The years of Vladimir Zelensky’s presidency will be just as lost for Ukraine, as the reign of his predecessor Pyotr Poroshenko – mainly due to his unwillingness to carry out reforms, according to an article published in Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

According to the author, Florian Hassel, “it is not often that a president loses the support of his voters as rapidly as Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky does.”

Hassel recalled that, according to the latest polls, only one fifth of all Ukrainians support him, while a half of all voters demand his immediate resignation and snap elections.

“This should give the West some food for thought,” the author believes.
The article notes that “rapid disappointment is a feature of Ukrainian politics.” Many people initially truly believed that Zelensky would be able to settle the armed conflict in the east of the country, the author says, which did not happen.

“But the main reason for Zelensky’s fall is his unwillingness to hold true reforms,” the article says.

Hassel believes that the president “consents to corruption and disempowerment in exchange for preservation of control” in the country, arguing that Zelensky’s only success was imposition of sanctions against the Opposition Platform – for Life political party leader Viktor Medvedchuk.

“A functioning state needs independent institutions. And they are still absent under Zelensky. On the contrary, in 2020, he de-facto subdued more or less independent Central Bank and Prosecutor General’s Office, while firing almost every respected reformer,” Hassel writes, adding that, in the meantime, Zelensky would not deal with corrupt courts and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

“The president reacts to the declining rating by creating working groups which should rapidly develop laws in order to prove Zelensky’s alleged desire to carry out reforms. He did the same thing before the election in 2019, but when he came to power, nothing of that was implemented,” the author writes.

Hassel noted that “poor outcome of Zelensky’s [presidency] is no secret for Europe.” At the same time, the journalist noted that after the election of Joe Biden, “a man came to the Oval Office, who truly knows Ukraine.”

“He is unlikely to be impressed by Zelensky’s promises alone,” Hassel writes.

“Many things suggest that Zelensky’s years in office will be as lost for Ukraine as the presidency of his predecessor Poroshenko,” the article concludes.