th Zelensky (he was born in Donbass and his mother language is Russian, aside Ukrainian) unleashed a political earthquake which may bring some motion into the political landscape in Ukraine with repercussions on future East/ West geopolitical events. The inauguration ceremony was a shock, beginning with the fact that Zelensky didn’t want to be escorted in a limousine, but preferred to walk by foot to the parliament greeting the waiting crowd with handshakes. His speech was combative but serious. Zelensky emphasized the need to bring the war in Ukraine – which from the beginning was heavily supported by the US and Western Europe- to a quick end. He emphasized that this can only be achieved with the help of the Ukrainian people where (Zelensky referred to his little son who had told him after the election that he is now President) “each of us is the President. Not just the 73 percent who voted for me, but all 100 percent of Ukrainians. This is not just mine, this is our common victory. And this is our common chance that we are responsible for together. …From now on, each of us is responsible for the country that we leave to our children. Each of us, in his place, can do everything for the prosperity of Ukraine.” In reference to the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine which is raging since 2014 having left 10.000 dead alone in the Eastern Ukraine region Donbass, he addressed the “common pain” which is shared by all: “Every day we lose each one of us in the fratricidal war with Russia. And each one of us is a refugee – the one who has lost his own home and the one who has opened the door of his home. And each one of us is migrant worker – the one who couldn’t find himself at home, but has found income in a foreign country, and the one who struggling with poverty, is forced to lose his own dignity.” The recurring theme of the president’s inaugural speech was “unity” and “reconciliation” within the Ukrainian people: “We are all Ukrainians: there are no bigger or lesser, or correct or incorrect Ukrainians. From Uzhgorod to Luhanks, from Chernigiv to Simferopol, in Liv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipro and Odesa – we are Ukrainians. And we have to be one.” Priority for Zelensky is to bring about “ceasefire” in the Donbas. “I have been often asked: What price are you ready to pay for the ceasefire? It’s a strange question. What price are you ready to pay for the lives of your loved ones? I can assure you that I’m ready to pay any price to stop the deaths of our heroes. I’m definitely not afraid to make difficult decisions and I’m ready to lose my fame, my ratings and if need be- without hesitation- my position to bring peace, as long as we do not give up our territories.” He strongly emphasized that it’s the task of the Ukrainians to “finish” the war. “We are ready for dialogue. I believe that the first step in this is “dialogue.” He made clear that what most important is to build unity in the country and to win the ‘hearts’ of the people- no matter how many passports they get; and that the next challenge is to return the lost territories. Winning back the hearts Most important was his emphasis to “return the minds we have lost…” He added that the army is only strong when the authorities “respect” the people who every day sacrifice their life for the country. “I will do everything I can to make you feel respect. This means decent, and most important, secure salaries, living conditions, vocation leave after the combat missions and your and your families’ holidays.” On the background of the abysmal state of the Ukrainian economy and the problems which the country is facing, Zelensky pointed to the “the shocking utility tariffs, humiliating wages and pensions, painful prices and non- existent- jobs. There is also the health care….. and there is also the mythical Ukrainian roads that are being built and repaired only in someone’s prolific imagination.” He blamed the problems of Ukraine on the Government (i.e. the previous government of Poroshenko et al, who may face very soon trials for corruption and treason E.H.) and criticized those people in the government “who shrug shoulders” saying that “there is nothing that we can do.” People “who only think about the next elections.” In short Zelensky declared war against the rotten and corrupt government structures, which could make people tremble within the Ukraine (around former President Poroshenko) but also in the Western world and in the US- that throughout the last years has supported the Ukraine and driven a wedge between Western Europe and Russia . “My election proves that our citizens are tired of the experienced, pompous (!) system politicians who over 28 years, have created a country of opportunities- the opportunity to bribe, steal and pluck the resources,” Zelensky stated. The new president promised to “build the country of other opportunities- the one where all are equal before the law and where all the rules are honest and transparent, the same for everyone. And for that we need people in power who will serve the people. This is why I really do not want my pictures in your offices, for the President is not an icon or portrait. Hang your kid’s photos instead and look at them each time you are making a decision.” At the end he announced that he is going to clean up the corrupt government demanding from the parliament to approve:
- The law on removing parliamentary immunity. 2. The law establishing criminal liability for illegal enrichment. 3. The long awaited Electoral Code and open- lists. At the same time he announced his intention to dismiss the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Jurij Luzenko and the Ukrainian Minister of Defense. And that within two months he wants the Ukrainian people to vote in a new parliament and that the Ukraine People should in a referendum decide on the future of the Donbass.