U.S. President Donald Trump has said in his telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky he said nothing wrong. “The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of Ukraine!” Trump said on Twitter on Saturday.
Trump said, “Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster.”
Biden earlier called on Trump to make public the transcript of the conversation with Zelensky. The call came after media reported that a U.S. intelligence officer complained about the U.S. president because of “troublesome promise” to the foreign leader (perhaps referencing Ukraine and its president).
Biden said in a statement, “[Trump] used the power and resources of the United States to pressure a sovereign nation—a partner that is still under direct assault from Russia—pushing Ukraine to subvert the rule of law in the express hope of extracting a political favor.”
Some 70% of Ukrainians polled positively assess the activity of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, while 9% take the opposite view, according to the results of a survey conducted by the sociological service of the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center on September 6-11, 2019.
The activities of the new Cabinet of Ministers are positively assessed by 45%, with 8% taking the opposite view, and the newly elected Verkhovna Rada some 44% and 10% respectively.
The activities of the Servant of the People faction in parliament are positively assessed by 50%, and 11% negatively, the European Solidarity faction some 14% and 59% respectively, Opposition Platform-For Life faction some 17% and 54%, Batkivschyna faction some 23% and 44%, Holos faction some 23% and 35% and the deputy group For the Future some 9% positively and 28% negatively.
Some 57% of respondents believe that events in Ukraine are developing in the right direction, while 17% hold the opposite view. Some 41% of respondents are of the opinion that Ukraine is able to overcome existing problems and difficulties over the next few years, while 40% said the country can overcome them in the longer term. Only 6% said Ukraine is not able to overcome them. Some 62% of respondents believe that the activities of the new government will lead to an improvement in the situation in the country, while 7% said the opposite. Some 15% said it will not significantly change the situation in the country.
Among state and public institutions, trust is most often expressed in the president (79% of respondents trust him), Ukraine’s Armed Forces (74%), volunteer organizations (69%), the State Emergencies Service (64%), the National Guard of Ukraine (64%), the Church (63%), the State Border Service (63%), volunteer battalions (62%), Ukraine’s government (57%), the parliament (57%), Ukrainian media (56%), public organizations (52%), and the National Police (51%).
Distrust is more often expressed in Russian media (80% of those surveyed do not trust them), the judicial system as a whole (72%), local courts (66%), commercial banks (65%), political parties (63%), prosecutors (61%), the Supreme Court (59%), the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (56%), the state apparatus (officials, 55%), the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (54%), the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (53%), the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (52%), the National Bank of Ukraine (51%), the High Anti-Corruption Court (50%), and trade unions (49%).
The study interviewed 2,018 respondents aged 18 and over in all regions of Ukraine, with the exception of Russia-occupied Crimea and Russia-occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in a sample representing the adult population of the country by main socio-demographic indicators. The survey was constructed as a multi-stage sample, random with quota selection of respondents at the last stage. The theoretical sampling error (excluding the design effect) does not exceed 2.3% with a probability of 0.95.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is waiting for a report of Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Artem Sytnyk and Head of the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) Nazar Kholodnytsky about investigation of top corruption cases.
“Law enforcement reform, overcoming corruption and judicial reform, and the first priority is elite corruption and organized crime. Three months ago I met with the leaders of NABU and SAPO. I would like to hear from them about the results of joint work on the prosecution of top corrupt officials,” Zelensky said at a meeting with the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and law enforcement officials in Kyiv on Monday.
According to the president, one of the priorities in preventing corruption is the disclosure of environmental crimes.
“Environmental crimes. I demand a report from the heads of the SBI [the State Bureau of Investigations], Security Service of Ukraine, the National Police on the fight against the amber mafia, illegal deforestation, and predatory mining of minerals that belong to all the Ukrainian people,” he said.
The United States expects a meeting of U.S. President Donald Trump with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Warsaw, where a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II will be held on September 1, Assistant to the U.S. President for National Security Affairs John Bolton has said.
He expressed his expectations about the meeting of the two presidents in Warsaw and said they would work on its organization in the coming days.
An expert survey, titled “100 days of President Volodymyr Zelensky,” conducted from August 19 to August 26 by Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation Fund was presented in Kyiv on Wednesday. Some 51 experts were included in the study. They said Zelensky’s main success in the first 100 days was the dissolution of the parliament and the further success of the Servant of the People Party in early parliamentary elections, which allowed the formation of a one-party majority.
Experts also noted the president’s foreign policy efforts: first foreign trips, establishing contacts with leaders of the EU countries, Canada, a planned meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Among the successes, Zelensky’s initiatives on the peace process in Donbas are also mentioned, along with activation of the Minsk process, efforts to conduct negotiations in the “Normandy format,” the issue of prisoner exchange.
To the president’s failures, experts attribute individual staff appointments and appointments to government posts on the basis of personal acquaintance and loyalty, rather than professionalism. The same applies to the inclusion of people with an ambiguous reputation in the Servant of the People Party list.
Experts also note foreign policy failures – in particular, the lack of efforts to counteract the return of Russia to Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the lack of initiative to tighten sanctions against Russia for not fulfilling the decision to release Ukrainian sailors and issuing passports in occupied Donbas.
Zelensky’s style of behavior during public meetings in the regions and the ineffectiveness of the ceasefire in Donbas was already regarded as a failure.
Experts believe that Zelensky’s main task is to confront Russian aggression by all diplomatic methods, including strengthening sanctions against Russia, preserving the “anti-Putin” coalition for the liberation of Donbas and Crimea, as well as Ukrainian political prisoners and captives.
For comparison, experts gave President Petro Poroshenko 6.3 points for his first 100 days, with his predecessor Viktor Yanukovych receiving 2.7 points. Yanukovych fled to Russia in early 2014.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said that it is impossible to understand the executions of Jews, Ukrainians, Roma and other victims of Babyn Yar, to forget and forgive this crime, and its repetition cannot be allowed.
“It is impossible to understand the inhuman desire to destroy people on ethnic, national or political grounds, regardless of gender and age. Before our eyes there is a terrible endless queue of people who did not understand that they were being led to death,” he said, speaking on Monday at a ceremony of reverence to victims of Babyn Yar with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Zelensky noted that most of those killed in Babyn Yar were of Jewish nationality, but “having shot all the Jews they could find, the Nazis began to get rid of other prisoners: Roma, Ukrainians who were fighting for their state.”
“The totalitarian Soviet regime tabooed such topics as the Holocaust, Babyn Yar, the Holodomor, and hid the real scale of these crimes,” he said.
Zelensky noted that, according to various sources, during the period of the Nazi occupation from 70,000 to 200,000 people were shot in Babyn Yar.
“It is impossible to forget and forgive, and the Ukrainian people will always remember these crimes against humanity. We will never forget what xenophobia and racism lead to. The ideology of intolerance and violence deprives of the most precious and valuable thing – human life,” said the president of Ukraine.
Zelensky called on the international community to join forces to prevent manifestations of anti-Semitism and intolerance on racial or national grounds.
“We must not allow it again! Eternal memory to the victims of the Babyn Yar, eternal memory to the victims of the Second World War,” said the president of Ukraine.