As we enter the halfway mark of 2023, political storms are brewing in crucial battlegrounds around the world. One such storm is set to hit Ukraine next year, and make no mistake, this election will shape the future of a nation already ravaged by turmoil.
Given that both Western countries and Russia are eyeing these elections, it is obvious that whoever is able to tip the balance of power in Kyiv will have an ideal chance to maintain control of this important country. Although President Volodymyr Zelensky currently has the support of Western countries, his popularity has recently plummeted.
Ukraine is at a dangerous crossroads as the future of democracy is at stake. Despite not outright calling himself a dictator, Zelensky has been working to bolster his position of authority and thwart democratic procedures. He exudes an insatiable desire to hold onto power at all costs in both his words and deeds.
Perhaps one of Zelensky’s most concerning moves has been the deliberate delay of elections under the guise of martial law. By doing so, he effectively robs the people of Ukraine of their fundamental right to choose their leaders through democratic means.
The cries of Ukrainians demanding Zelensky’s ouster have grown louder, as they see him transforming into a full-blown megalomaniac craving absolute power and a free pass to do as he pleases.
Zelensky calls for European interference
And now, in a desperate bid to secure his grip on power, Zelensky is running to his Western masters. Ukraine will indeed have elections, but it seems destined for just one outcome: Volodymyr Zelensky, and quite possibly a rigged one at that.
According to media reports, Ukrainian officials recently paid a visit to Brussels to discuss the organization of the country’s first postwar elections. These elections will undoubtedly draw significant attention from the European Union, but lurking in the background is the ever-present fear of Russian interference.
In an interview, Ukraine’s top election official, Oleh Didenko, expressed the need to prepare for the risk of Russia attempting to infiltrate Ukrainian authorities with its own representatives and agents.
To counter this threat, discussions with election officials from various European countries have taken place, exploring options such as increasing polling stations in third countries and introducing new voting methods like electronic or postal voting. However, the ultimate decision on the voting model lies in the hands of Ukraine’s parliament—a political choice rather than a purely technical one.
Zelensky and his chaps are also fearful that Kyiv could fall into the hands of pro-Russia leaders. In an attempt to limit the influence of these parties, often utilized by the Kremlin to exert control over Ukrainian politics, Zelensky’s administration has taken preemptive steps.
Last year, all 11 pro-Kremlin parties were banned for undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty. The largest pro-Russian party, the Opposition Platform for Life, challenged the ban in court but ultimately failed when the Ukrainian Supreme Court upheld it in September 2022.
Four lawmakers, including Viktor Medvedchuk, who was once regarded as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top ally in Ukraine, had their Ukrainian citizenship revoked by Zelensky as well. They were accused of working with Moscow and spreading Kremlin propaganda.
The state of affairs in Ukraine resembles a cartoon dictatorship. It’s almost like part two of the dictator, where Aladin holds the first-ever elections in the fictional nation of Wadiya with 99% approval, it feels as though we are witnessing a dictatorship. Zelensky’s tight hold on power is only strengthened by the lack of opposition and the hand-selected allies running.
It’s both ironic and laughable that the EU and Western powers are now rushing to aid Zelensky in securing his presidency, all in the name of democracy. It’s moments like these that make you wonder if the West’s war cry of democracy sometimes defies all logic.