Analysis of the President’s address to the Rada: “5 questions” with Andriy Zolotariov


On December 1, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky delivered his annual address to the Verkhovna Rada. He said what had been done during the previous year and shared important plans for the next.

We are talking about the president’s speech with political scientist Andriy Zolotariov in the program “5 questions” on the UA TV channel.

Oleh Borisov hosts the program.

– What important messages in the president’s speech did you mention for yourself?

– It is difficult to tell what Volodymyr Zelenskyy was talking about for 45 minutes, but it should be noted that his speech differed from the traditional format of the message to the Verkhovna Rada. What? Since the format of the message is rather closer to the scientific work on economics and finance, and quite routine and boring, it is quite obvious that the President addressed a much wider audience through the Speakers of the Verkhovna Rada.

His speech was aimed at the citizens of Ukraine and addressed to them. I must say that Volodymyr Zelenskyy always managed the captain’s competition much better than the warm-up, and this time he was moderately emotional, self-confident, convincing and skillfully emphasized the winning topics for him.

If we say that it was a sensation that got into the top news – of course, this proposal of Volodymyr Zelenskyy to create an economic passport of Ukrainian citizens, on which the younger generation will receive their share of the rent for the exploitation of natural resources. This proposal, which receives at least 80% support. Ten years ago, something similar was run in. And then there was total support. I do not think that anything has changed dramatically in 10 years on this issue.

Also sensational was the bill, which will be approved by the president, on dual citizenship, which, judging by last night, according to the reaction of opponents of the president, very much spoiled their mood. For some reason, they were very worried that the political map of Ukraine would receive another 6-8 million votes. But the approach is absolutely correct in terms of the fact that we have to work not only with those who live in Ukraine, but also with those who consider themselves Ukrainians and live abroad, millions of them.

Another point to which I would like to draw attention is the announcement of the continuation of the construction of the airport, the creation of a national airline. This is a really winning topic for the president.

Those who said 3 years ago that 90% of our roads are in a state of disrepair, unfit for operation, and today criticize the “Big Construction” look very funny. That is why I understand the president very well, because he sees that the politicum passes any positive action through its internal censor, interprets it, often turning everything upside down.

This indicates that I think 2022 will be very active politically. It is this emphasis of the desire to explain his actions, what he is going to do next in power, I would highlight as key in the speech of the President.

– The President also stated that the minimum salary of doctors in Ukraine in 2022 will be 20 thousand UAH, and the average – UAH 24 thousand. Is it real?

– The President said absolutely sincerely that we cannot reach the level of European standards. After all, everyone forgets that in 2018-2019, even before the coronavirus, there was a huge outflow of health workers abroad. The paramedics left. This is human capital. No matter how much money is poured into medicine, if there are no doctors, if the doctors go somewhere else, it is a complete waste.

There is a lively economic debate. I am not an economic expert, I do not want to find out what GDP the president meant – real or nominal – but in sociology, in the focus groups I have seen, doctors and family doctors have felt positive. They associate what has been done for the last year with the president.

– Given that there are less than 2.5 years left before the next presidential election, can the opposition become more active now? What can she put pressure on?

– You know, the president did not delve into the coup at all. Note that almost the topic is gone. It was said that the majority will stagger from within, looking for weak links. And it is quite obvious that the president’s opponents will bet.

First, they expect that the energy crisis will have a painful effect on the president’s rating. They are counting on the shutdown of enterprises, on fan shutdowns, a negative scenario. And then they will look for the weakest links. Then there will be a political crisis, or a new coalition, and they will run until the early parliamentary elections. To weaken the president’s position.

Be that as it may, the staunch supporters of the president who will not betray him are almost 200 deputies of the Verkhovna Rada. That’s a lot. This is a sufficient resource, in my opinion, to pursue policy. Therefore, at least, the president’s opponents expect to halve the majority as a result of this combination. And then a strong prime minister and a weak president are their goals.

We will remind, today Volodymyr Zelenskyy submitted for consideration to the Verkhovna Rada