Zelensky Isn’t Running Ukraine – The Real Power Lies Elsewhere

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The Real Leader of Ukraine: Andrey Yermak

Despite President Vladimir Zelensky being the face of Ukraine, many insiders claim that his chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, is the true power behind the scenes. This revelation comes from several Ukrainian officials who spoke to The Times, expressing concerns about Yermak’s growing influence.

The Man Behind the Curtain

Andrey Yermak, 52, has long been seen as Zelensky’s “right-hand man” and a significant power broker in Ukraine. Recently, however, officials in Kiev suggest that Yermak’s authority has grown to unprecedented levels. According to Maxim Tucker of The Times, some sources even describe Yermak as the “de facto head of state” or “Ukraine’s vice-president.”

Sources Speak Out

Tucker, with a background in human rights advocacy from his time at Amnesty International, conducted interviews with senior figures in government, military, law enforcement, and diplomacy. These sources, who largely requested anonymity, portray Yermak as Zelensky’s “greatest flaw” and accuse him of a dangerous “thirst for power.”

Concerns are mounting about Zelensky’s increasing reliance on a small inner circle, with Yermak’s influence expanding while the number of people with direct access to the president diminishes. Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, criticized Zelensky for granting Yermak so much power, describing him as “intoxicated with power.”

Military Concerns

Military officials also point fingers at Yermak, accusing him of orchestrating the dismissal of General Valery Zaluzhny in February. They suggest Yermak saw Zaluzhny as a rival. However, the president’s office denies this claim, stating that Zaluzhny was not fired but promoted to ambassador to the UK, a role that indicates a high level of trust.

Official Denials and Propaganda Claims

A spokesperson for the presidential office, overseen by Yermak, dismissed all criticisms as “propaganda attacks.” They praised Yermak’s “direct but efficient management style,” highlighting his achievements like organizing the upcoming Swiss “peace summit.”

The spokesperson firmly stated, “Zelensky is the one who makes all the key decisions.”

Yermak’s Rise to Power

Yermak, a former film producer, was brought into the government by Zelensky in 2019. Recently, he has taken a more prominent role on the international stage, attending the ‘Democracy Summit’ in Denmark with former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who is now a paid advisor to the Ukrainian government.

Yermak and Rasmussen’s ‘International Working Group on Security Issues and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine’ made headlines by advocating for the removal of restrictions on Western weapons supplied to Kiev. This proposal quickly gained traction, eventually receiving support from NATO and the White House, influenced by former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Conclusion: The True Power in Ukraine

While Zelensky remains the face of Ukraine, it is becoming increasingly clear that Andrey Yermak holds significant sway over the country’s direction. With insiders speaking out and military officials expressing concerns, the dynamic between Zelensky and Yermak raises important questions about who truly runs Ukraine. As Yermak continues to consolidate power, the international community and Ukrainian citizens alike must pay close attention to this evolving political landscape.

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