Zelensky has put too much at stake in this game. The charges are too grave. High treason is not a trifle. There is probably nothing worse than an accusation of treason, especially for a person who held the highest position in power.

All those who closely watch the development of this case have a clear understanding: after the escalation of the conflict to such heights, only one will be able to remain in politics and power – either Zelensky or Poroshenko.

The day of Poroshenko’s arrival in Ukraine and first court hearing, however, showed that Volodymyr Zelensky’s chances to stay in politics are very low. From the very beginning, when Poroshenko got off the plane, everything went against Zelensky’s scenario. The plan, in fact, was to detain Poroshenko at the airport, provide him with a free state lawyer, bring him to court and quickly arrest him. This plan failed from the very beginning.

They should have stopped a month ago. After Prosecutor General Iryna Venedyktova de facto withdrew from signing a suspicion against Petro Poroshenko, Zelensky should have understood that his power vertical is not ready for this case.

After Poroshenko’s arrival, border control officers and DBR investigators began to quarrel, as both agencies did not want to take the responsibility to detain the former president, surrounded by ‘European Solidarity’ MPs and a crowd of supporters. Police, who had Poroshenko on the ‘wanted list’, withdrew from the process.

The DBR demanded Poroshenko be detained by a special unit of the border control. Border control officers wanted the DBR to bring its own special force unit, citing the fact that the border control is not a law enforcement agency!

Time was passing. The scandal was growing. Apparently, all involved services waited for clear orders from their top management. However, they did not receive any clear orders.

The situation developed further. No matter how odious judge Sokolov is, he is obviously a man with experience and knows the system well. He did not want to become a scapegoat in this story. He called for an ambulance and stayed in the deliberation room without making any decision.

No matter what happens then, Poroshenko has already defeated Zelensky and broke his fragile power vertical by the very fact of arrival to Kyiv. He has shown that it is impossible to remove him from active politics.

So what was Zelensky’s mistake? Why, having complete monopoly on power, controlled security agencies and parliament, did not he manage to arrest Poroshenko?

To understand this, we should turn to the times of Viktor Yanukovych and the political process against Yulia Tymoshenko. There is a huge professional gap between the teams of Yanukovych and Zelensky.

Moreover, building an authoritarian regime requires determination and a full understanding of exactly what, why and what you are doing. Viktor Yanukovych had no hesitation or remorse. He was building authoritarianism in the country with full awareness.

However, Viktor Yanukovych and his regime, with all its thugs, prosecutors and Putin’s money, still lost.

What about Volodymyr Zelensky? Zelensky looks weak and inadequate to the current situation. And weakness is the only thing that politics never really forgives. Neither the voters nor the ruling clans!

What awaits Volodymyr Zelensky? He, of course, remains the president of Ukraine. But starting on January 17, his power began to vanish. He does not control anything and does not take responsibility. He is obviously not ready to build a tough authoritarian regime in Ukraine.

This is his another variety show. He might want to falsify the election, but he does not know how to do it. And he obviously understands that the West will never allow that.

His political ratings go down and Poroshenko’s increase. Everybody in the country understands that the parliament election is due in a year and a half. The election will bring in a new coalition and Poroshenko is quite a probable candidate for prime minister. The election will also bring in a new prosecutor general. That is why law enforcement ignore Zelensky wishes.

Surprises for president Zelensky have just begun to appear. Soon, his team will leave him seeking to join Poroshenko, Akhmetov, Avakov, Razumkov. Even Kolomoiskyi will leave. Zelensky will remain completely alone.

Yet not everything is lost for Zelensky. He can use the last years of his term to carry out a series of reforms, fulfilling his promise of one term. Why not leave something behind? At least a judicial reform? A critical time is coming for Volodymyr Zelensky. The time that will determine how his presidency will be described in the history textbooks. We do not know what the president’s choice will be, but can guess.