18:57 21.05.2021

Zelensky able to become center of power, starts to behave like monarch – political scientists

4 min read

KYIV. May 21 (Interfax-Ukraine) – President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has concentrated in his hands the political power in the country, while starting to try on the role of the monarch, expert of Hardarika Strategic Consulting Corporation Kostiantyn Matviyenko said.

"Obviously, Zelensky was able to become the center of power. Moreover, he starts to behave like a monarch. Even at yesterday's press conference following the results of two years of his presidency, he allowed himself to say that the head of Kyiv administration is his vertical of power. Let us remember his words, that in order to search for the killers of journalist Sheremet, he is ready to break the law or the words that he deliberately interferes in the activities of Naftogaz, the National Bank of Ukraine. In conditions when this is contrary to the Constitution," MatviYenko said during a press conference titled "Ukrainian politics in May: Is it far from escalation climax?" hosted by Interfax-Ukraine.

According to the expert, the presence of such a center of power in Ukraine during the crisis could be positive, but it is not used in the interests of society.

"We saw at yesterday's press conference that extremely little attention was paid to the issues of poverty, rising unemployment and other social threats, including the pandemic. But this is also a problem of journalists, the problem of the isolation of power and media from society," he said.

Director of the Ukrainian Barometer sociological service Viktor Nebozhenko said "Zelensky's press conference was not a serious account of two years of his presidency."

"He did not touch upon the important things over these two years, did not say what he would do next. He talked a lot about himself and spoke little about the problems of Ukraine," Nebozhenko said.

"The impression was that the president is trying to blow up the political situation in Ukraine, saying that he alone will cope with everything, while not knowing how to do it. His speech was not about the important: the prime minister, the Verkhovna Rada, voters, but about personal political will, where he says that he declares war on everyone – oligarchs, politicians," he said.

"Taking into account the recent events, the arrest of [Viktor] Medvedchuk, the dismissal of three ministers, the situation with [Vitali] Klitschko, it seems that we are heading for a very strong political acceleration. Something like a guard's valve in a lonely carriage that goes on rusty rails. One gets the impression that this guard's valve was torn off by our president," Nebozhenko said.

According to Head of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation, historian, political analyst Kost Bondarenko, "Zelensky can bring surprises."

"I would not be surprised if this year the President of Ukraine follows a rather unusual path, and surprises can be expected from him, and soon he may come up with the idea of ​​holding an early presidential election, as long as he has a high rating, there are no serious opponents. Accordingly, he can win them and then come for seven and a half years, not five," Bondarenko said.

Director of the Institute of Global Strategies Vadym Karasiov said "Zelensky wants to become the center of the Ukrainian political universe, which is much broader than the status of the president."

"He, as a person who did not come from politics, believes that it is possible to solve many important public and geopolitical tasks in turbo mode. He took it and did it, what is the problem? Dictating the rules himself. The people also do not want to wait, they want changes, justice, that de-oligarchization. Zelensky is doing it in spite of everything and in spite of it. Hence the feeling that he is waging a war with everyone on several fronts," Karasiov said.

"The war against Akhmetov, Avakov or the same Klitschko. And here the question is whether some kind of resistance front will be formed. And whether the same Klitschko will become the 'frontman' of this resistance. And how much, in general, is the old ruling class who is trying to dismantle Zelensky, will continue to simply observe," the political scientist said.