Cover Osteuropa 3-4/2019

In Osteuropa 3-4/2019

Man without qualities
The election of Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine

Juri Durkot, Volodymyr Kulyk, Kateryna Miščenko, Gwendolyn Sasse, Andrew Wilson

Deutsche Fassung


The election of Volodymyr Zelensky as the new president of Ukraine marks a watershed. Not only the margin of his victory over the incumbent president Petro Poroshenko on 21 April 2019, but also the circumstances in which it occurred, are striking. The newly elected president conducted his campaign almost solely via social media. Content was replaced by “likes”. As a “man without qualities”, Zelensky offered the perfect projection screen for a wide range of voters’ wishes. The main point was that he was a fresh face. At the same time, traditional elements of political culture and institutional peculiarities in Ukraine continue to have an impact. The implications of Zelensky’s presidency for domestic and foreign policy, the question of whether he can develop his own room for manoeuvre in order to bring an end to the war in eastern Ukraine, and the extent of progress with regard to Ukrainian nation-building are analysed by Yuri Durkot, Volodymyr Kulyk, Kateryna Mishchenko, Gwendolyn Sasse and Andrew Wilson.

(Osteuropa 3-4/2019, pp. 3–18)