Zelenskyy’s Mistakes – OpEd


By White Mountain

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is undoubtedly a great Ukrainian leader, yet he is not a saint, and he can make mistakes. Here, we will summarize some of his mistakes through a comprehensive approach:

1. Underestimating Ukraine’s corruption problem: Corruption is deeply entrenched in Ukraine, and despite criticism from Western countries, Ukraine has not effectively addressed this issue. There are periodic displays of corruption. For instance, all of Ukraine’s agricultural exports are controlled by a single company, and agricultural yields are in reality commercial income. While Ukraine has received record levels of international aid, there are doubts about its proper utilization.

2. Hasty dismissal of the Minister of Defence: The former Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov had good relations with Western countries, and his departure was a significant loss for Ukraine. The new minister Rustem Umierov is a relatively unknown figure. At a critical moment, political interests took precedence over national interests.

3. Misplaced focus on military equipment: Zelenskyy’s efforts to acquire various equipment, from Abrams tanks to F-16 fighter jets, lacked a strategic focus and resulted in excessive commitments that could not be fulfilled.

4. Excessive interference in military command: During the summer campaign, Zelenskyy interfered excessively in military affairs, resulting in the consumption of valuable Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut. The end results did not match his promises.

5. Overestimating Ukraine’s importance to Poland: Zelenskyy allowed the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to make unfounded accusations against Poland, one of Ukraine’s closest and most important allies. Due to a grain export issue, Ukraine unnecessarily damaged its crucial support from Poland. After this incident, few European countries showed respect for Ukraine’s diplomacy, and the voice of Kuleba was heard less frequently.

6. Seeing Ukraine as personal possession: The current Ukraine is Zelenskyy’s personal property, which makes its fate uncertain and perilous.

7. Overvaluing the U.S. President: Zelenskyy paid significant attention to the U.S. President Joe Biden while relatively neglecting the U.S. Congress. He seemed to genuinely believe that as long as he had the assurance of President Biden, everything would be resolved. This misunderstanding of democracy causes Ukraine’s parliamentary relations to be far from those of Israel.

8. Ineffective efforts to gain European support: Zelenskyy has made significant but unrealistic efforts to join the European Union and NATO, all of which have failed. Due to his impractical demands, European professional politicians have dismissed his hard work. Zelenskyy seems to lack the necessary caution to navigate such a situation.

Zelenskyy is a young European politician who has risen to prominence in a challenging environment, and he has performed exceptionally well, surpassing many European politicians and becoming a historic figure. Perhaps he can continue to excel in the future, but he is certainly not a saint, and he can make mistakes, including potentially fatal ones.


Anbound Consulting (Anbound) is an independent Think Tank with the headquarter based in Beijing. Established in 1993, Anbound specializes in public policy research, and enjoys a professional reputation in the areas of strategic forecasting, policy solutions and risk analysis. Anbound's research findings are widely recognized and create a deep interest within public media, academics and experts who are also providing consulting service to the State Council of China.

One thought on “Zelenskyy’s Mistakes – OpEd

  • November 8, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    Zelensky is the sixth president of Ukraine since 2019 and was named the Time Person of the Year for 2022. Opinion polls in Ukraine have ranked him as Ukraine’s greatest president. He was formerly a comedian and actor. Born to a Ukrainian Jewish family, Zelensky grew up as a native Russian speaker in Kryvyi Rih, in central Ukraine. In a challenging War environment he has performed exceptionally well to lead the country with the US-NATO support. What is to be seen is that once peace comes to Ukraine, if it does in his tenure how will answer for the death and destruction of his country to enter into a war that was avoidable.


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