Inclusive rhetoric, anti-establishmentarianism: World media on Zelensky inauguration

Source : 112 Ukraine

The inauguration of the newly elected president of Ukraine is over. Volodymyr Zelensky has officially become the President of Ukraine. Let's review what the foreign media have to say about this
16:02, 21 May 2019

World media on Zelensky inauguration

The inauguration of the sixth President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, took place in Kyiv on May 20. The showman made an oath, received the symbols of presidential power and addressed Ukrainians.

He further plans to negotiate with international delegations, which continued as of 16:00.

We will see what is written in foreign media about the inauguration of Zelensky.

The Independent

“In a punchy 40-minute inauguration speech, Mr. Zelensky hit on themes of anti-establishmentarianism and inclusivity...At several points, Mr. Zelensky obviously reached out to the Russian-speaking east of the country, whom he said had been forgotten. He also promised citizenship to anyone “wishing to build the new Ukraine.”


The agency wrote about the main points in the speech of Zelensky, citing him saying that Ukrainians “...must become Icelanders in football, Israelis in defending our native land, Japanese in technology and Swiss in our ability to live happily with each other, despite any differences...Our first task is to achieve a ceasefire in Donbas".

“Mr Zelensky has given few details of his plans since winning by a landslide on 21 April. He has left it to a team of advisers to try and reassure people that he knows what he is doing,” it is noted.

At the same time, the agency ephasized that “Russian state TV said no Russian official had been invited to the inauguration.”

The Washington Post

"He played Ukraine’s president on TV. Now he has taken office as the real one," says the Washington Post headline

"And, channeling the morally upright schoolteacher-turned-president he played on a popular TV show, Zelensky portrayed himself as a more down-to-earth leader than his predecessors," it is noted.

The agency argues that "many members of the country’s political and economic elite, are poised to test the depth of public support for Zelensky as parliamentary elections loom. And his own commitment to the anti-corruption agenda he espoused as a candidate remains to be seen."

It is also mentioned the conflict with Rudolph W. Giuliani over the former vice president Joe Biden.

"Although the United States has backed Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, allies of President Trump have lashed out at Zelensky in recent weeks. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, has urged Ukrainian authorities to investigate the activities of former vice president Joe Biden in Ukraine. There is no evidence of improper conduct by Biden. Zelensky’s team, however, has hesitated to get involved in what some advisers view as a U.S. domestic political battle. Giuliani referred to those Zelensky advisers as “enemies” of Trump in a Twitter posting on Saturday."

Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times stated it was second democratic transition of power in Ukraine.

"Zelensky is Ukraine’s sixth president since independence. This is the second democratic transition of power since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the start of a war in the country’s eastern flank, where Moscow-backed rebel fighters continue to battle Ukrainian forces. The five-year conflict has cost the country at least 13,000 lives and displaced as many as 2 million people."


The Newsweek wrote that comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy after the swearing in, "immediately made moves to rid the country’s political landscape of those believed to be loyal to former President Petro Poroshenko."

At the same time, it noted that controversy of his decision to disband the parilament. 

"The president had the authority to dissolve parliament and call for snap elections, but the timing might nevertheless prove controversial and the move could face legal challenges. Parliamentary elections were originally scheduled for October 27, which meant that the parliament must be dissolved by May 27 in order for snap elections to be held within a legal timeframe. It was unclear whether Zelenskiy had already signed the decree for parliament’s dissolution."

"During his inaugural address, Zelenskiy announced that he would dissolve Ukraine’s parliament and called for the dismissal of prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, a controversial figure with ties to President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Experts said that Lutsenko, who was involved in an ongoing effort by allies of President Donald Trump to accuse Ukraine of meddling in U.S. elections in favor of Trump’s rivals, has played politics in both Ukraine and the U.S." the agency also points out.


The Swiss agency TdG tried to analyze Zelensky's profile, saying:

"Volodymyr Zelensky is committed to keep the pro-Western course of this post-Soviet republic, but his programs remains unclear and his team is largely unknown. Many question his ability to lead the country which still faces immense challenges: the ongoing war and heavy economic difficulties." 

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