Five years of Zelensky: What do folks in Kryvyi Rih suppose? | EUROtoday

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As of: May 21, 2024 1:19 a.m

The Ukrainian president's prolonged time period in workplace begins right now – elections have been suspended due to the struggle. Zelenskyj continues to take pleasure in reputation. But criticism additionally resonates in his hometown of Kryvyi Rih.

Marc Dugge

It is the tone that at present dominates life in Kryvyi Rih: air alarm. Elsewhere in Ukraine the sirens wax and wane, however right here it's a gentle buzz. It typically sounds a number of instances a day. David sits along with his classmates within the air raid shelter at his faculty. What would he do if he have been president?

“Help the people. Make sure there is no more war, because I don't want war! I want it to be over in the summer when we have to go back to school,” says the boy. “We got along well with the Russians, then they attacked everyone and now they also want to take Kryvyi Rih and kill the president.”

He hardly watches the information as a result of it makes him unhappy, says David. But he likes President Volodymyr Zelenskjy. Headmaster Serhij Borodavka: “Zelenskjy went to school here. Our school is number 94, he was at 95. It's not far from here. It's currently being renovated. I think there will be a memorial plaque there one day, because the president learned there.”

Loud criticism is out of the query

There are additionally memorial plaques at this faculty, subsequent to the principle entrance. Seven black tablets. One for every former scholar killed as a soldier within the struggle. Serhij taught 5 of them himself, historical past. They confirmed braveness, he says. Just like President Zelensky: “Of course you can discuss the president. But he showed courage in the first days of the war. He did not leave the country, which was in great danger. He organized the defense. I am very grateful to him for that thankful.”

It must be famous that the headmaster additionally had a couple of essential feedback about Zelenskjy. But he doesn't need to go into that in additional element. Loudly criticizing the president in wartime is out of the query for a lot of Ukrainians. And particularly not in his hometown. Teacher Kateryna additionally solely finds optimistic phrases for him.

“He's a big man, with such a big burden on his shoulders. He's always here in Ukraine, trying to make deals to get us help: financial and weapons aid,” stated Kateryna. “I can only wish him perseverance and strength. I think Ukraine can still win.”

Endangered industrial metropolis

The struggle is palpable in Kryvyi Rih. The entrance is simply an excellent 60 kilometers away. Air alarms may be heard time and again, and infrequently an explosion – if the air protection has hit a missile or a drone. But generally rockets arrive and trigger demise and destruction.

As an industrial metropolis, Kryvyy Rih is especially in danger. Mykola Stupnik, rector of the town's National University, reviews: “Kryvyi Rih is often called the steel heart of Ukraine. In Soviet times, the city was responsible for half of the entire Soviet Union's iron ore production. That was more than 220 million tons then. Now is Kryvyi Rihi is the main source of iron and raw materials in our country.”

Everything at his college additionally revolves round mining. His workplace is embellished with footage of flatbed vans and blast furnaces. Zelenskyj studied regulation right here.

Cabaret group as a substitute of working as a lawyer

“I met the president occasionally, at the beginning of his term in office. He met with voters for the first time in our university, in the auditorium,” stated Stupnik. “I don't know him well enough, only his appearances in the media. But I have a very good relationship with his father, my colleague.”

The father was a professor of cybernetics on the college right here. Kryvyh Rih is a small city in spite of everything – many individuals right here have an opinion and generally an anecdote to supply about their son. For instance, Zelensky's former regulation professor, Valeri Yuspuwokh.

Zelenskyj was extra serious about comedy performances at college, he tells us with a smile. Studying was extra of a secondary matter for him. In truth, Zelensky by no means labored as a lawyer, however based a cabaret troupe proper after his research. It was known as “Kwartel 95,” named after his neighborhood in Kryvyy Rih.

There is little signal of comedy performances within the college right now. Because of the fixed air alarms, the constructing is essentially abandoned and most college students work from home. Student Viktoria is right here exceptionally right now. She additionally has solely good issues to say about President Zelensky: “I'm very proud that he comes from my city. I went to the school he went to. Now he's leading an entire state in these difficult times.”

According to surveys, Popularity rankings

However, surveys actually present that Zelensky has misplaced reputation in Ukraine. Many accuse him of clinging to energy and of not cracking down on corruption onerous sufficient. And that the troublesome navy state of affairs can also be primarily based on Zelensky's fallacious selections.

But new elections are out of the query for now: Martial regulation applies in Ukraine. Only when it’s suspended can folks be elected once more. A big majority in Ukraine believes it’s proper to not maintain new elections now. This is proven by a present survey. Principal Borodavka can also be towards it.

“Elections might be necessary from a political point of view. Then there would be no accusations that the president is no longer in office legally,” stated Borodavka. “On the other hand, it is simply impossible to hold elections while fighting is going on. A lot of territory has been lost, there are many refugees and many are at the front. It is absolutely impossible to hold elections in an orderly manner.”

Shortly afterwards the siren blares once more. Just holding a college working is a problem in these instances in Kryvyi Rih.

Marc Dugge, NDR, tagesschau, 20.05.2024 23:25