“It is rare that a country’s president loses the support of fellow citizens as rapidly as Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine. Less than two years after the triumphant victory over Petro Poroshenko, who held this post before him, only about 20% of Ukrainians are ready to vote for him, according to opinion polls”, writes the German subscription newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung
In addition, the current president not only lost support, he also turned the population of his country against himself. According to all kinds of sociological studies, already half or more of the citizens of Ukraine are demanding the immediate resignation of President Volodymyr Zelensky and holding early parliamentary elections, the newspaper notes. And, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, this is a serious enough reason for the West to think about why this is happening.
German journalist Florian Hassel tried to figure it out.
Firstly, the author of the article believes that quick disillusionment is generally a hallmark of Ukrainian politics. So, for example, many citizens of Ukraine in 2019 believed the promises of the very popular comedian Vladimir Zelensky that he could stop the war in eastern Ukraine – this will be the first thing he will do as head of state. However, in reality, everything turned out to be much more complicated, and very soon the people of Ukraine woke up from their dreams and saw that the current president was no different from all the previous ones.
“However, the main reason for the collapse of Zelensky is his unwillingness to carry out real reforms. He continues to rule in accordance with the tradition that has developed in post-Soviet times: he recognizes corruption and the lack of rights in exchange for the ability for his apparatus to control the situation in the country. With the exception of actions in relation to the politician and media tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, who is close to the Kremlin, Zelensky did nothing to deprive the oligarchs of the opportunity to influence politics, the economy and the media”, – Florian Hassel said.
The author of the article notes that a stable and well-functioning state needs, first of all, independent institutions, but time passes, and they still do not exist, as they did not exist. On the contrary, everything is getting worse: last year, Volodymyr Zelensky subordinated the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Central Bank of Ukraine, which had remained relatively independent before him. And all the politicians and officials who were engaged in reforms have lost their posts. But all corrupt courts, like the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), remain untouchable.
If in Ukraine billions of dollars were not stolen everywhere, then this impoverished country would not need billions of Western loans, the author is sure. But everything comes to an end, and now the International Monetary Fund has refused to provide the next tranche until the Ukrainian authorities give convincing guarantees that the reforms will be carried out.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung notes that the Ukrainian president reacts painfully to the data of various polls, which time after time demonstrate the collapse of his popularity ratings. Of course, he is trying to do something, creating working groups that are trying to develop new laws. However, these laws are being developed only to show the West the imaginary determination of Zelensky and his entourage to carry out reforms, the German journalist does not doubt. He reasons this by the fact that Zelensky behaved in the same way before the elections in 2019, promised a lot and talked a lot, but after he received the post of head of state, nothing of the promise came true. Fortunately, in Europe all this is well understood, the author is sure. No wonder, just the other day, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it summed up the results that were not at all comforting for President Vladimir Zelensky.
“However, the United States could have achieved even more in Ukraine, which has always had a huge influence in this country, but under President Trump, Washington did not pay due attention to Ukraine. And now, in the White House, Joe Biden, who can be called a real connoisseur of Ukraine and who will definitely not be satisfied with just promises from Zelensky. But will the increased pressure on Kiev from the new US president help the cause? Hardly. There is a lot to say that the years under Zelensky will be as lost for Ukraine as the years under his predecessor Poroshenko”, – the Süddeutsche Zeitung draws a pessimistic conclusion.
True, it does not do the main thing: perhaps it was the support of the West (including the FRG) of the 2014 coup d’etat in Ukraine that made the Ukrainian post-Maidan government so rejected by the people? Wasn’t interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine by its “real expert” Biden one of the reasons for Poroshenko’s collapse as president? And is it not the attempts of the Western “friends of Ukraine” to turn the country, once friendly to Russia, into an anti-Russian project led to the results that the author of the Süddeutsche Zeitung describes with vexation, while refusing to look at the root.
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