Volodymyr Zelensky: Will He Be the Future of Ukraine, or the Final Nail in Its Coffin

The irony was not lost on Ukraine when a famous actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky announces he will run for president. That, of course, was after the actor turned politician has played a role of the president in a famous Ukrainian TV Show ‘ The Servant of the People’.

As a famous comedian Zelensky has given people quite a lot of laughs, but even more laughs followed when he just started campaigning. However, when the laugh settled and the room was quiet he managed to win over 73% of his voters and was elected as the new president of Ukraine. 

Many, including his opponent Petro Poroshenko, stated that despite being trained as a lawyer, Zelensky is too inexperienced to be given such a responsibility, and perhaps they were right. With Ukraine’s crippled economy, it will be really hard for the newly reborn politician to achieve economical and social stability in the country.

Zelensky celebrating his victory

During his campaign people of Ukraine had an unusual, some might even say absurd confidence in Zelensky. They did not care for him having no political experience or knowledge about what it would be like to be the new present, other than, of course, playing one in a popular  sitcom for three years.

Such confidence, most likely came out of desperation as Ukraine was fighting for their country to change since the 2014 protests in Maidan. It has been 5 years since those events have taken place and in addition to Ukraine still having a complicated relationship with Russia, the economy of the country has not changed. 

People are still barely scraping money to pay for rent or utilities and the only thing they need is someone who is going to take the “mess” that is Ukrainian financial state and exhume the country from the ground of poverty and despair that it has been under for the last decade. 

It also helped that the two main opponents that the now president had were former president Petro Poroshenko and twice runner up Yulia Tymoshenko. Both of those opponents were not only amused of letting corruption prosper in the country but taking part in it. People of Ukraine were not willing to wait for another 5 years and all they needed was a fresh face. 

Enter Zelensky, an actor who strongly supported the 2014 protest and opened up about how he regrets ever voting for the “corrupted” Poroshenko in the first place. It might seem careless to vote for him, but living in such terrible conditions for so long, I don’t think any of us would do any different.

“I will never let you down,” Zelensky said in the midst of the celebration in the day of his victory, however, it has been less than a month and people of Ukraine are already suspecting that he is going back on the promises he so singly made during his campaign. 

The newly elected president vowel to put an end to corruption and give the power back to the people. However, it seems to be a really hard promise to keep in a country that contains of big businesses that have drained most of the country’s resources. So far, things do not seem to be any better. 

Small local businesses keep getting harassed by the IRS as the country’s resources are running out with an incredible speed. Although, it is beyond naive to expect that a country would change overnight.

Perhaps even with a rocky start we can’t tie up on the newly elected Zelesnky just yet as even though he is off to a rocky start it would be hard for anyone to improve a country with such limited resources and people who are tired of being powerless. 

All we can do at this point is to hope that Zelesky will try his best and keep his promises and slowly help Ukraine get back on its feet.

Assiya Mukhamedrakhimova

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