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Pundits on Zelensky’s 100 days: "successful for him but not for Ukraine"

The next 100 days will be more complicated, as Zelensky "will have to make decisions, including unpopular one," a political scientist said

KIEV, August 27. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who has been in office for 100 days, has managed to retain high credibility with the public at large and preserve popular trust towards the political force he represents. Ukrainian political scientist, director of the Third Sector center Andrei Zolotaryov, has told TASS the head of state has spent most of the time tightening his grip on power and placing personnel.

"From the sociological viewpoint Zelensky has been rather successful in keeping in touch with the audience. After 100 days in office his credibility rating is as high as last spring. Except for the question of power not a single issue has been resolved, though," he said. Zolotaryov believes it is too early to say the "system is changing", because only some officials have been replaced. "For the time being nothing is being said about popular government. Zelensky promised a referendum, a local referendum, but most often he tries to steer clear of this subject. He speaks about the sale of land far more eagerly," Zolotaryov said.

One has an impression, he went on to say, that "the Zelensky team is in the trap of illusions complex problems may have simple solutions."

"The next 100 days will be far more complicated, because he will have to make decisions, including unpopular one. There will be no chance for him to manoeuver," Zolotaryov said.

He described Zelensky’s first 100 days in office as "successful for him but not for the country."

"There have been signs of a warmup in relations between Kiev, on the one hand, and Donetsk and Lugansk, on the other. The deadlock over the exchange of prisoners held on either side has been broken, but it is too early to say some irreversible changes have begun," Zolotaryov said.

The director of the Institute of Ukrainian Politics, Kost Bondarenko, told TASS the main achievement of the first 100 days of Zelensky’s presidency is an end to "outspoken nationalist rhetoric," which was characteristic of Ukraine’s fifth president, Pyotr Poroshenko. "He put an end to Poroshenko’s policy of imposing the nationalist ideology."

Bondarenko sees as successful Zelensky’s decision to disband parliament and to reset it as a result of new elections. At the same time he remarks that Zelensky has not achieved anything yet in the social, economic and international sphere, including an end to the conflict in Donbass.

In the presidential election runoff on April 21, 2019 Zelensky received 73.22% of the votes (13.5 million). His inauguration followed on May 20. The next day he signed a decree to call early parliamentary elections. The pro-presidential party Servant of the People took 254 seats. The first session of Ukraine’s newly elected parliament is due on August 29.