Time's 100 most influential: Yermak in, Zelenskyy out

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Andriy Yermak
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Andriy Yermak

In a surprising twist, Andriy Yermak, head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine, was the only Ukrainian to be named in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world this year. Notably absent was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who had previously topped similar rankings. Former Ukrainian Foreign Minister and current Head of the Center for Russian Studies, Volodymyr Ohryzko, discussed the implications of this omission during an interview with Radio NV on April 17.

Ohryzko suggested that the exclusion of Zelenskyy from the list is unlikely to impact Ukraine's diplomatic relations. "It's not about how these partners react to what's happening in Ukraine by reading this or that magazine," he stated. "They know who is responsible for what. And there should be no change of addressees, because otherwise it means that something is clearly going wrong."

Read also: Yermak featured on Time’s 100 most influential leaders list, Zelenskyy absent

Ohryzko also hinted that this development should serve as a wake-up call for Zelenskyy. "I think this should be a certain signal to the president," Ohryzko added. "And realization that, most likely, some changes need to be made."

In contrast, Time magazine’s readers named Zelenskyy the most influential person in the world in 2022, and he was also recognized that year as the top figure in The Jerusalem Post's ranking of the most influential Jews in the world.

Read also: Yermak meets with China’s top envoy in Kyiv

Meanwhile, there is growing speculation about the increasing influence of Yermak within the Ukrainian government. Political analyst Ihor Reiterovych described Yermak as "a vice president with unceremonial powers." Furthermore, Viktor Bobyrenko, head of the Bureau of Policy Analysis, stated in November 2023 that Yermak had become the number one figure in Ukraine, signaling a possible shift in power dynamics within the Ukrainian leadership.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine