How Ukraine’s President turned his political destiny around

How Ukraine's President turned his political destiny around 5
How Ukraine's President turned his political destiny around 5

On February 24, when Russian tank convoys began to cross the border into Ukraine, the capital Kiev was plunged into fear.

During that tense time, many military analysts and Western officials believed that Ukraine would quickly fall and Mr. Zelensky’s government would collapse.

However, contrary to expectations, Mr. Zelensky flatly refused the US proposal, declaring that he needed ammunition, not an escape route.

It was an important moment of cohesion for President Zelensky’s government, ensuring agencies continued to operate amid the crisis while helping turn his political fortunes around.

`In the first days of the conflict, everyone was shocked and everyone had to consider whether to stay in Kiev or evacuate. But the President’s decision was that no one could leave. We stayed in Kiev and fought.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky at a press conference in Kiev on April 23.

To much of the world, President Zelensky became famous through his daily shared video speeches, with messages of courage and willpower to motivate his people to fight and cry out.

Over the weekend, Mr. Zelensky attracted global attention when he received two top US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, in Kiev.

Behind the scenes, what Mr. Zelensky has done so far also comes from the government’s ability to operate smoothly and take measures to help Ukraine cope with the war, according to Andrew E. Kramer, period commentator.

By relaxing regulations on transporting goods, Mr. Zelensky’s government resolved the risk of severe food shortages in the capital in the early days of the conflict.

`Pay taxes if you can, but no one will question you if you can’t do it,` he said.

Ukraine’s leaders also combined six previously competing television stations into a single news agency, explaining that the merger was necessary for national security.

He also made a `truce` with his domestic political rival, former president Petro O. Poroshenko, with whom he had argued many times before the military conflict broke out.

Since losing the 2019 election, Poroshenko has often harshly criticized Mr. Zelensky.

`I met Mr. Zelensky, we shook hands,` Poroshenko said in March. `We said we could start again. He can count on my support, because now

Volodymyr Yermolenko, editor-in-chief of political magazine Ukraine World, highly appreciated President Zelensky’s leadership ability, turning his pre-conflict populist political style into effective policy in the midst of crisis.

Mr. Zelensky’s current workplace on Bankova Street is a carefully guarded space with many soldiers.

Originally a comedian, the Ukrainian leader has had a loyal support team since his days on television.

President Zelensky once signed an order banning the activities of a pro-Russian opposition party, helping his Serve the People party win a majority of seats in parliament in 2019, allowing him to appoint a cabinet of loyalists.

`In fact, everything has become a large, very cohesive group,` said Igor Novikov, a former foreign policy adviser to President Zelensky.

President Zelensky often speaks by phone with General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander of the Ukrainian armed forces, several times a day, especially in the morning, according to aides and advisers.

He will then have a morning online meeting with the prime minister, sometimes other members of the cabinet, as well as the heads of intelligence and military agencies, according to spokesman Nikiforov.

However, video speeches to the US Congress, the British Parliament, the Israeli Parliament and many other governments are still the factors that most clearly show Mr. Zelensky’s wartime role.

Inspired by the experiences of a former actor, Mr. Zelensky’s speeches attracted great support from the people and the international community.

How Ukraine's President turned his political destiny around

President Zelensky appeared on the big screen when speaking online at the US Congress last month.

Dmytro Lytvyn, a 38-year-old political analyst and former journalist, is said to have helped Mr. Zelensky write his speeches.

Orysia Lutsevych, a research expert at the Chatham Institute in London, said that personal style and eloquence and persuasion ability are strengths in President Zelensky’s political capacity.

Assessing Zelensky’s political capacity before and after the war broke out, Valentyn Gladkykh, a political analyst in Kiev, said that the President of Ukraine sought to transform himself into a wartime leader, gaining support.

`No previous Ukrainian president has ever faced such a large-scale military operation on its territory,` Gladkykh said.

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