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28 Apr, 2024 16:18

Zelensky’s legitimacy will soon be questioned – Kremlin

The fate of the current regime in Kiev is sealed, spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said
Zelensky’s legitimacy will soon be questioned – Kremlin

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky will not be able to remain in office indefinitely, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview published on Sunday. He will have to “somehow exonerate himself” in the eyes of his fellow citizens and other nations in order to maintain his grip on power, the Russian official told journalist Pavel Zarubin.

A presidential election was scheduled to take place in Ukraine on March 31. Zelensky canceled it along with all other elections in December 2023, citing martial law and the conflict with Russia. He also announced at the time that no new elections for either president or parliament will be held as long as martial law remains in force. The move essentially extended his mandate indefinitely.

“I believe Zelensky’s fate is sealed,” Peskov said. “A moment will come soon when many people, including those inside Ukraine, will question his legitimacy.”

According to the Kremlin spokesman, the Ukrainian president’s term in office “will have to be called into question anyway from a legal point of view,” referring to him as a “very peculiar president of a very peculiar regime” that “does not spare its citizens” and “throws … thousands and thousands of people into the crucible of war.”

“This is a tragedy for the people, for the country,” he added.

A survey carried out by Ukrainian pollster SOCIS in early March showed that Zelensky would have secured only 23.7% in the first round and no more than 32.5% in the second if he had faced the former top Ukrainian commander, General Valery Zaluzhny. The president would have lost to the general, who was dismissed by him in February, the data indicated.

In early April, German newspaper Tagesspiegel reported that public support for the “authoritarian” president was falling in Ukraine. His approval ratings “have recently sunk to 61%,” down from 80% recorded early on in the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, it said, citing opinion polls by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology.

In March, leading Kiev news outlet Ukrainskaya Pravda (UP) claimed, citing MPs, that Zelensky virtually stripped the national legislature of its powers and established personal rule. “We have a unique situation in Ukraine: one person decides everything,” one lawmaker told the paper at the time, referring to the president.

Around the same time, an MP from Zelensky’s own party openly suggested that Ukraine needs a “dictatorship” to survive, adding that the president makes most of the decisions anyway.