Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has sunk in the polls, falling from 84 percent approval at the end of 2022 to 62 percent approval at the end of 2023.
While still high overall, the Ukrainian leader’s approval rating in the Kyiv International Institute for Sociology (KMIS) surveys may be artificially inflated, with respondents paranoid about possible reprisals. Zelensky has banned most of his political opposition, and purged critics in the media, accusing them of sympathizing with Russia.
That his rating has still dropped by 22 points suggests he is finding it increasingly difficult to contain discontent over the war, after last year’s Western-backed counter-offensive failed with heavy losses. Eighteen percent of respondents openly reported that they do not trust Zelensky — up from just five percent in 2022.
Meanwhile, General Valery Zaluzhny, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), had the trust of 88 percent of respondents, with the AFU at large on 96 percent.
This could spell trouble for Zelensky, as he has long been rumored to be at odds with the general. Zelensky fumed over the military leader’s admission that the war was a “stalemate” last year and has reportedly been attempting to undermine his authority on the battlefield.
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