Struggle for Ukraine

22.01.2020

Cracks Emerge in Ukraine’s Ruling Party

Faced with a fluctuating approval rating, President Zelensky is attempting to instill order in his party’s ranks. The voting machine that he built from his parliamentary majority is beginning to malfunction as deputies refuse to be mere cogs in that machine.
12.12.2019

Why the Normandy Summit Was Not a Waste of Time

Solving humanitarian problems and stabilizing the area around the line of contact is the bare minimum outcome of talks on Ukraine that all sides consider necessary. At the same time, each side suspects that for its opponents, this minimum is also the maximum in terms of what is politically acceptable.
12.11.2019

Ukraine’s New Economic Policy Juggles Populism With Libertarianism

Zelensky’s economic path has turned out to be as contradictory as his political path. Various promises ranging from libertarian reforms to classic social populism are hindering the implementation of any meaningful policy.
10.10.2019

Specter of Revolution Looms Over Moves Toward Peace in Ukraine

Street protests in Ukraine and the threat of destabilization are working to strengthen the authoritarian tendencies of President Zelensky’s rule. He sees that everywhere he has not managed to install his power vertical and his people, the seed of chaos and sabotage is germinating.
7.10.2019

Ukraine Prepares to Grasp the Nettle of Its History Politics—Again

Two things have become clear following the dismissal of the head of Ukraine’s Institute of National Memory. First, Ukraine’s history politics must become more inclusive, and move away from the extremes of revolutionary fervor and the principles of party affiliation. Second, if the institute cannot be closed down, then it must be radically reformed. Above all, it must not be allowed to be monopolized by representatives of a single political persuasion.
2.10.2019

Ukraine’s President Can’t Avoid Showdown With His Oligarch Backer

Kolomoisky has been making use of his ambiguous position as the future president’s business partner since the very start of Zelensky’s election campaign, but this didn’t prevent Zelensky from sweeping to victory in the elections. Now, however, the trickster oligarch is becoming increasingly toxic for Zelensky’s team, not only within the country but also abroad.
9.09.2019

Fresh Approaches Enable Russia-Ukraine Prisoner Swap

For the Kremlin, key conditions for the prisoner exchange were President Zelensky’s reference to joint work by two states and two presidents, recognition that there were advantages to the swap for both sides, and the exclusion of the exchange from the victory/defeat paradigm.
2.09.2019

Idealism vs. Reality: Ukraine’s New Government Prepares for Challenges

The new Ukrainian government’s main problem is the harsh reality awaiting it. The majority of the new ministers—progressive young idealists who have studied at Western universities, founders of successful startups—may not be sufficiently familiar with the conditions of everyday life in the country away from the post-industrial digital economy clusters. A collision with that reality could be a shock, both for the reformers themselves and for Ukrainian society, which is desperate for immediate change.
27.08.2019

Ukraine’s New President: Servant of the People, or Father of the Nation?

Under President Zelensky, the decisionmaking center is being dislodged to make way for the president himself and the circle of people close to him. The role of the government will be reduced to that of technical implementation, while the new parliament, with its single-party majority and weak opposition, will also lose a lot of its former influence. This style of ruling is more akin to a super-presidential republic than the parliamentary-presidential model customary for Ukraine.
23.07.2019

Landslide Victory for Zelensky’s Party in Ukraine: What Next?

No other president in the history of Ukraine has had such resources under his control while facing such a weak and fragmented opposition and enjoying such enormous popularity among his compatriots. In this new reality, a “velvet usurpation” with the consent of most of the population no longer seems like an impossible outcome, nor does the expression “comic dictator” seem like such an oxymoron.
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