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Author: Anna Korbut

Zelenskyy’s populist learning curve

If Ukraine had a term for its current political landscape, “turbo regime” would definitely work for 2019. The cabinet of ministers quickly was staffed with “new faces” coming from a community of activists and technocrats previously engaged in international organisations and reform projects. Yet, the team delivered mixed results. In response, Zelenskyy sacked the government and replaced key officials hoping to keep his popularity high.

Upon being elected to the presidential office, Volodymyr Zelenskyy dissolved the parliament during his inauguration speech on May 20th 2019, paving the way for a snap election. That blitzkrieg helped him remove the unfriendly legislature and expand his grip on power by having his party ride the wave of popularity it was receiving. At that point, the Servant of the People party was ahead of any of its established competitors in the polls. The problem was that the party did not yet exist.

July 7, 2020 - Anna Korbut

Who can make Ukraine great again?

The upcoming Ukrainian presidential elections are an opportunity to continue the reform process that has, so far, produced effective results and to instil a political will to deliver other fundamental changes. But this opportunity is likely to be missed, as many candidates offer band-aid solutions with no clear strategic vision.

Much like champagne and fireworks, the presidential address delivered before the countdown to midnight is a traditional ingredient of New Year celebrations in Ukraine. As 2018 was ending, 1+1 – a top TV channel owned by oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky – broke that sequence. It aired Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian and entertainment producer, announcing his long-speculated bid for the presidency. “There is a third way: to try and change something in the country and I have chosen it for myself,” he said in a soothing voice familiar to his comedy show, jewellery ads and TV show The Servant of the People, a series where he plays an honest schoolteacher who accidentally becomes president and sends corrupt officials to jail amidst dramatic soundtracks and standing ovations from vyshyvanka-clad extras.

March 5, 2019 - Anna Korbut

We need to put pressure on the government

An interview with Anna Korbut, an editor at Tyzhden/The Ukrainian Week. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

February 15, 2016 - Anna Korbut Iwona Reichardt

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