Ukraine: How did Zelensky become president?

By Sergey Markov

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Editor’s note: Deconstructing Fake News Narratives – The below narrative puts the cart before the horse and minimizes the role of Kolomoisky, fails to mention Rinat Akhmetov, and elements from within the U.S to such an extent that the piece reads and feels like ‘legitimizing sanitization’. At the same time, it will be curious to see ‘which’ factions from within the splintered U.S establishment (if we follow that theory) were more supportive of Zelensky.

Rinat Akhmetov is a critical player, given that he owns significant industry in the DPR and is a multi-billionaire Ukrainian oligarch with more wealth than Kolomoisky, and with stronger ties both to Russia and the Yanukovich government. It was he who vacillated between supporting DPR militias as well, and may have propped up his own ‘DPR rebels’ to create the specter of revolutionary secessionist support, but in fact simply acted to guard his assets from expropriation or nationalization.  Rinat Akhmetov was known for playing both sides during the Donbass conflict. Initially on the side of the pro NATO oligarchs, he established a neutral role and worked towards ‘neutralizing’ the socialist and communist elements of the Donbass rebels. Many fighters and citizens alike believe that Rinat Akhmetov  was chiefly responsible for any number of betrayals during the Donbass socialist revolution several years ago. Akhmetov worked upon his ties to Victor Yanukovich and to Moscow power pillars to protect his assets from the Donbass revolution, successfully. As a Sunni Muslim and a Tatar, he was also to work the Turkey angle into this whole approach.

But finally in March of 2017, a month after the assassination of Mikhail Tolstykh, call-sign Givi, the DPR announced a semi-nationalization of Akhmetov’s assets in the Donbass (effectively a greatly increased tax). He responded that he would refuse this move.

The the following month, April of 2017, Poroshenko followed up on this apparent weak-point and had the Kiev government push to seize Akhmetov’s telecom holdings, on the basis that these were illegally privatized under Yanukovich.

FRN is of the view that it was a proactive plan by Kolomoisky – who while an Israeli citizen as well – a significant funder of neo-nazi radical groups in Ukraine, along with Akhmetov who was being cornered out of options, worked together to place an actor, Zelensky, to be their proxy. The below narratives which place Zelensky as some political thinker, political strategist, an independent agent, thinker, etc., or anything close to resembling those lines, is absolutely an unnecessary claim to make, and unjustified by his biography or any reading of his personal motives as a performer and fame-seeker. – J. Flores

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By Sergey Markov, former deputy of the Russian State Duma – translated by Kristina Russ

Ukraine: How Zelensky became president

In early 2015, the idea of ​​the film Servant of the People was born, it was filmed and was released with great success in the fall of 2015. At the same time, Zelensky and his team members had the idea to take advantage of the series’s popularity to take part in elections. Without much hope of winning, but with the hope of a good result.

In 2017, Zelensky spoke about this idea to oligarch Igor Kolomoisky. He approved. To participate in the political bidding and how to harm his enemy Poroshenko.

The hidden part of the election campaign began. It lasted a year. In the second half of 2018, Zelensky already openly declared his readiness to run for elections. His chances went up after it became clear that singer Vakarchuk, whom some US foundations were preparing for the elections as a new young face, got cold feet.

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At the end of the year, the active part of the campaign began. Before then, voters, who were dreaming that at least someone would knock Poroshenko out of the presidency, for the most part supported Tymoshenko. But Tymoshenko, who has been involved in politics for many years, was friends and quarreled with everyone – it is clear that she was from the same club as Poroshenko and Yanukovych.

Zelensky was a fresh hopeful face. First, Zelensky converted his overall recognition into a small support rating. Financially it was with the support of Kolomoisky. As soon as Zelensky’s support rating became comparable to Poroshenko’s and Tymoshenko’s ratings, general protest voters began to massively escape from Tymoshenko to Zelensky. This was the second step – to take votes from Tymoshenko. As a result, Zelensky quickly became the leader of the ratings. Some other oligarchs, such as Khoroshkovsky, began to give money to Zelensky.

After that, a large number of those who did not intend to vote in the elections, because they have not believed anybody for a long time, they were going to vote for Zelensky. It was the third step – to bring to the elections those who were not going to vote. After that, all the oligarchs began to give money to Zelensky. In addition to Akhmetov and Pinchuk.

At this moment, the Westerners began to worry. Ambassadors of Western countries met behind closed doors with Zelensky and were unpleasantly impressed. It seemed to them that he was clearly too ready to go to populist slogans of voters, that it was necessary to stop the war and did not understand that the main task of the President of Ukraine was to continue the political war with Russia.

They were afraid that Zelensky would become a real peace candidate. Then work began with Zelensky. Intimate consultations with the US embassy led to a consensus that the US does not impede Zelensky’s victory, and Zelensky does not question the continuation of the Russophobic course of Ukraine.

At the same time, there were disagreements in the approaches of the intelligence agencies, which Volker represents, and of the American political foundations, which oversee Ukraine, and which de facto are represented by US Ambassador Jovanovic. Intelligence agencies believed that Poroshenko should remain. The foundations believed that the disintegration of state institutions under Poroshenko was so great that his election for a second term could spur too much hatred for the regime. In addition, the foundations hoped under Zelensky to realize their old dream of changing political generations in Ukraine. The State Department held neutrality in this dispute.

Weak signals that the US is not against Zelensky’s victory led to Zelensky’s 4th step.

A significant part of the establishment had already begun to speak out for him.

That was how victory was forged:

1. Conversion of fame into support.
2. Take votes from Tymoshenko.
3. Take the votes of those who were not going to the polls.
4. Negotiate a neutrality with the Americans.

There are many more details. But this is for another time.

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