Handelsblatt: Experts warn of political crisis in Ukraine

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The warning in his evening televised speech (sat last week) was unmistakable: the Ukrainian president predicted fierce attacks from Russia, Handelsblatt recalls. Immediately, said Volodimir Selensky, people should go to a safe place when the siren alarm sounds. He expected “Russia to do something particularly cruel and disgusting on Ukraine’s Independence Day.”

Those who see Selensky on screen recognize a visibly aged man. He no longer exudes the youthful comfort of the TV entertainer with whom he took office in 2019. After the outbreak of war, he grew a beard and wore only green military T-shirts. The comedian became a warlord.

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His “I need guns, not elevators” line, with which he had denied the US a chance to escape, won him respect and followers. Until now, the 44-year-old has been able to do whatever he wants with his team, which is partly made up of fellow contestants from his TV production company. But the grace period seems to be over.

And of all things, his image as a communicator is suddenly called into question. The well-known screenwriter and playwright Katerina Babkina now accused Zelensky of throwing away the warnings of the American secret services more than half a year ago and of not preparing his people for the coming arms race: “This is not a blindness, not it’s a mistake, it’s not an unfortunate misunderstanding, it’s not a strategic miscalculation – that’s a crime,” Babkina stressed.

Ukraine War: Charges Against Zelensky – US Warns of Russian Attack

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Sevgil Musayeva, editor-in-chief of the traditionally government-critical newspaper “Ukrainska Pravda”, also accused the head of state of disinformation. Concealing the dramatic nature of the situation at the beginning of the year, he “raised doubts about the mental capacity of millions of Ukrainians”.

Zelensky was partly responsible for the “concrete human losses” due to the lack of preparation for the war. Sooner or later, these questions “will have to be answered honestly,” Musayeva said.

Zelensky had publicly admitted for the first time in an interview with the “Washington Post” late last week that the US had very specifically warned of a Russian attack and had advised the population not to panic.

The Ukrainian president justified his behavior with the following words: “If we had reported it – something some people wanted, whose names I will not mention – I would have lost seven billion dollars a month since last October.” He then added: “And the moment the Russians attacked, they would have taken us within three days.”

Zelensky is defending himself against the charges

If he had gone public with the US warnings and not disseminated the allegedly different findings of his secret services, the consequences would have been catastrophic, Zelensky argued: investors would have withdrawn their money, factories would have been relocated and millions of people would have fled since the end of last year. His conclusion: Ukraine’s defense capability would have been greatly compromised.

Opposition lawmaker Iryna Geraschenko doesn’t buy it: She says Zelensky simply failed to prepare the country for its big neighbor’s aggression. The Ukrainian secret service SBU had gone after former president Petro Poroshenko and the opposition instead of eliminating collaborators.

It was precisely this charge that was Ivan Bakanov’s downfall as recently as mid-July. Zelensky fired his childhood friend, who until then was the head of the Ukrainian secret service SBU. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova also had to leave. Both had done very little against pro-Russian collaborators. This revealed the first cracks in Zelensky’s handpicked team, which is mostly made up of old confidants from his days as an actor, comedian and TV producer.

Zelensky and his cronies changed their strategy with the Russian invasion, insiders say: before the outbreak of war, Zelensky, along with his presidential chief of staff, former motion picture producer Andriy Jermak, “constantly micromanaged and they were trying to interfere personally in all the details of the various state proceedings,” they say.

Now the president is fully focused on military and diplomatic issues, while economic issues are now left to the government. That suggests there could be a serious political crisis in the winter, several top experts and politicians say independently, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Experts warn of a political crisis in Ukraine

It is expected that the Russian military will deliberately destroy all power plants and district heating lines before the onset of winter, so that the Ukrainian population would freeze and leave – and overthrow the head of the government Denys Shmyhal. Thus, he will be portrayed as the culprit of the worst heating crisis in the history of Ukraine, in order to get Zelensky out of the political firing line.

Meanwhile, Oleksandr Danylyuk, co-ordinator of the civil rights movement Common Cause, is calling for “an end to the political strife that has now broken out again”. This only benefits hostile Russia, he said. Danylyuk referred to the military successes of the recent past. Indeed, individual villages in the south were able to be recaptured, and in the annexed Crimean peninsula, the Russian army suffered severe blows.

Source: Capital

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