Promises, promises… Ukraine’s Committee of Voters checked how Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has been doing on his promises made in his last year Independence Day speech. Back then, the Ukrainian president vowed to reclaim occupied territories, bring in a thorough ceasefire in Donbas, rein in the pandemic, and bring to justice the persons accused of treason.
Despite his public pledges, Zelensky failed to secure a thorough ceasefire, mishandled vaccination rollout and, in an aboutface, chose to hold a military parade, he called ‘an attraction for Kyiv residents’, said the watchdog leader Oleksiy Koshel.
Ceasefire deal in Donbas
‘Recently, on my visit to the east [of Ukraine], I asked locals if they heard any news about the ‘silence mode’ we made a deal on. They told me ‘we can’t hear news. We can hear silence. And today, on the 29th day of ceasefire, marking 29th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence we ask God for just one thing – let the days of ‘silence’ go longer for months, and then years’.
Verdict. The ceasfire proved too fragile to last. The early 2021 escalation brought numerous ceasefire violations that took lives of 45 Ukrainian soldiers injuring 163 more. In August 2021, Zelensky stated that bringing back ‘silence mode’ is a prerequisite for talks on Donbas.
‘Every mother wants their children be [safe and back] home. Yes, unfortunately, today at our family lunch meal, we are missing Donets, Luhansk and Crimea. We are doing everything possible to draw nearer the day when they will come back home.’
Verdict. The president hasn’t kept his word.
With Donbas talks stalling, Volodymyr Zelensky has little to boast about. Despite his moderate success with ‘Crimean Platform’ initiative, he hardly got anywhere with his plans to update Minsk agreements and bring in the US to Normandy format talks.
Criminal cases against persons allegedly responsible for territorial losses
‘We are building this very kind of a country! It is the country that is poised to stand up to a challenge. It doesn’t matter who comes assailing us- be it an aggressor, a virus, or a world crisis. It is the country where those who timidly gave away the part of our lands, will stand trial and won’t be able to give sermons.
Verdict. This hasn’t happened. There is no evidence of any criminal cases over allegations of treason.
Calling off the military parade on Independence Day in Kyiv
‘Our military equipment today is in the east [of Ukraine]. I am confident it is the way it should be. Tanks, armored vehicles, planes are not an entertainment for Kyiv residents and tourists. The country that has taken up arms to defend its sovereignty should keeps such equipment in the frontline and not in peaceful Kyiv. It is there where it is needed most. It should be so if we respect our army. We will have our parade in future. It will be a Ukrainian victorious parade after we take back all our people and territories.’
Verdict. The president backtracked on his promise – in abrupt u-turn, this year he ordered a military parade to mark the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence.
‘Today we are doing our best to curb coronavirus in Ukraine. We have got all the necessary provisions for it, started our own manufacture [of protective equipment], and are renovating our hospitals and laboratories.’
Verdict. It is another failed pledge of Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukraine’s Covid policies proved slow and stumbling while failure to procure vaccines resulted in the lowest rates of vaccinated people among the European countries.