Ukrainian Military More Popular than President Zelensky
President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose popularity skyrocketed after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, has landed hard, back on the ground to a shocking reality. The Ukrainian military is far more popular at 82 percent, than him. The second most popular leader is Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba.
According to “The National Survey of Ukraine” conducted by Sociological Group Rating for the Center for Insights in Survey Research, Zelensky’s approval ratings saw a significant drop. Only 42 percent of Ukrainians strongly approve the Ukrainian president, and 40 percent “somewhat approve”.
In April, 58 percent of survey participants strongly approved Zelensky and 33 percent somewhat approved.
Military Far More Popular
Volodymyr Paniotto, director of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, back in February 2023 said the war changed the attitude of Ukrainians towards Zelensky. Another researcher said it was significant for Ukrainians that Zelensky behaved as a true leader at the decisive moment. “He did not leave the country despite offers and performed his duties with dignity.”
But now, there’s a dramatic slump in his popularity. The Ukrainian military, with a strong approval of 82 percent, is far more popular that Zelensky. But a YouGov Survey shows Zelensky as more popular among Americans than President Joe Biden or Donald Trump.
The Ukrainian military’s growing popularity can be attributed to its gains against Russia’s aggression and far stronger army. Lt. Col. Todd Hopkins, deputy commander of the Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, had earlier said that Western training created a competent non-commissioned officer corps that could feed initiative and make tactical decisions based on commander’s intent.
Moreover, Ukrainian military leaders highlighted flexibility as a major factor in their effectiveness against Russian forces who, much like the Soviet military, rely on senior leaders for direction and instructions in combat.
Countries Taking a Step Back from Zelensky
Besides Ukrainians who may be tired of the war, some countries want to step away from Zelensky and Ukraine. Poland is looking at halting delivery of new weapons to Ukraine. Slovakia will no longer provide military aid to Ukraine. The newly elected Prime Minister Robert Fico said he will support zero military aid to Ukraine.
“An immediate halt to military operations is the best solution we have for Ukraine.” Fico said Bratislava would continue to send humanitarian supplies to the war-torn country. He believes the EU should change from an arms supplier to a peacemaker.