Kyiv mayor accuses Zelensky of being an authoritarian
By Arsenio Toledo // Dec 11, 2023

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko has accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of being increasingly authoritarian, warning that if this continues Ukraine will no longer be any different from Russia.

Klitschko, the former world heavyweight boxing champion who has served as mayor of the Ukrainian capital since 2014, made this unprecedented public remark against the Ukrainian president during an interview with German publication Der Spiegel.

In this interview, Klitschko warned that Zelensky is beginning to isolate himself further from Ukrainian society as well as from the government. He is even adopting more "authoritarian tendencies" that Klitschko said pose a danger to society.

"At some point, we will no longer be any different from Russia, where everything depends on the whim of one man," said Klitschko.

Klitschko noted that the only thing stopping Ukraine from becoming an autocratic state centered around Zelensky was the stubbornness and independence of regional mayors and governors like himself.

"There is currently only one independent institution, but enormous pressure is being exerted on it: Local self-government," he said. Klitschko also credited local officials and not Zelensky's administration with being capable enough to hold off most Russian attacks during the first few weeks of the Russian special military operation.

In another interview, this time with Swiss media outlet 20 Minutes, Klitschko stopped just short of directly blaming Zelensky for Ukraine's recent military failures.

"People [are beginning] to see who's effective and who's not," said Klitschko, when the topic came to the stalled Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russian forces. "And there were and still are a lot of expectations. Zelensky is paying for mistakes he has made." (Related: Zelensky ADMITS Ukraine's counteroffensive HAS FAILED.)

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Klitschko noted that more and more people are beginning to wonder "why we weren't better prepared for this war, why Zelensky denied until the end that it would come to this."

Amid mounting domestic and international pressure, Zelensky was recently forced to admit that the counteroffensive "did not achieve the desired results." But he stopped short of taking responsibility for the debacle, instead blaming the West for failing to provide Ukraine with the necessary weapons and training needed for the operation to succeed.

Opposition to Zelensky is growing

Klitschko is just one of a handful of major political or military figures involved in a public spat with Zelensky.

Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi got into an argument with Zelensky after the general publicly admitted that the frontline had reached a stalemate in November. Zelensky denied this just weeks before admitting that the counteroffensive had failed to achieve "the desired results."

"Some people just don't want to hear the truth," said Klitschko, agreeing with Zaluzhnyi.

Internal Ukrainian polling cited in November by The Economist noted that Zelensky's trust ratings have been trending downward for months and are currently sitting at 32 percent. But support for continuing the conflict with Russia remains above 60 percent.

For his part and despite his comments regarding Zelensky's autocratic tendencies, Klitschko said he did not want Zelensky to vacate the presidency. However, he does believe that Zelensky will immediately lose power after the war.

General elections were originally scheduled for March 31, 2024, but elections are barred under Ukraine's martial law, which was introduced at the beginning of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.

Zelensky's administration argues that the vote would not be fair because millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee the country and many others who have remained in the country are currently soldiers at the frontlines or are otherwise engaged in the war effort.

Other political figures, likely due to a desire to hold on to their seats, have also expressed their objection to an election. Kira Rudyk, a member of the liberal opposition party Holos, noted that it would set a "super dangerous" precedent if Ukraine only held elections "in territories that we control."

"It would mean that we appear to acknowledge that Ukraine does not include the occupied territories," said Rudyk, who added that the optics of Ukrainian political candidates spending money on a campaign during a war would be "crazy."

Along with mishandling the counteroffensive and blocking Ukraine from holding an election scheduled for March, Zelensky's other opponents have also blamed him for failing to stamp out corruption and losing a lot of the country's political goodwill on the international stage.

Watch this video of political commentator Alex Christoforou discussing Klitschko supposedly turning on Zelensky.

This video is from the channel Oldyoti's Home Page on

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