Swiss intel report depicts ‘authoritarian traits' in Zelensky
The Federal Intelligence Service's confidential assessment notes that Ukraine is at a "critical point" in its democracy.
According to a private assessment by the Federal Intelligence Service, Ukraine is at a "critical point" in its democratic progress as it prepares for presidential elections in 2024.
The assessment, seen by the newspaper NZZ am Sonntag, explains that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is attempting to politically eliminate his biggest rival, Kiev mayor Vitaly Klitschko, ahead of next year’s election, a claim based on "credible intelligence".
The report explains that Zelensky is "showing authoritarian traits" by attempting to remove Klitschko politically, adding that "it is very likely that Western states will exert pressure on the president and his entourage in this regard."
According to the NZZ, the study was sent a day before the Swiss government was to negotiate the sale of Leopard 1 tanks to Germany for use in Ukraine, a request that was ultimately rejected.
Ulrich Schmid, a professor of Eastern European studies at the University of St. Gallen, told the publication that neither independent parties nor free press are currently present in Ukraine, something he believes are the "prerequisites of a functioning democracy."
"This development is not surprising [as] wars strengthen the executive," Schmid added.
According to the NZZ, the Swiss foreign and defense ministries declined to comment on the classified dossier.
Since the beginning of the war, Zelensky has received widespread public backing from Western countries, particularly Switzerland. Three weeks ago, Zelensky addressed the Swiss parliament via video call, something the People's Party boycotted. While all parties believe that Ukraine should be given support, some legislators have balanced this with the necessity for democratic changes.
Cédric Wermuth, co-president of the Social Democrats stated, “There are good reasons to criticize Zelensky’s domestic policy, especially from a left-wing perspective.”
Damien Cottier of the Radical-Liberals told the NZZ, "It is important to make it clear to the government in Kiev that as soon as the war is over, free and fair elections must be held immediately.”
Ukraine has lost the war and President Volodymyr Zelensky is in a "desperate" state, while Russians on the other hand are comfortable with the current path of the conflict, former advisor to Pentagon chief and retired US Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor said in an interview with Anders Abjorn on the latter's YouTube channel.
Responding to concerns that the war in Ukraine and the continued Western weapons assistance will lead to WW3, the Colonel criticized roles played by some Western NATO members, accusing them of escalating the fight through their actions.