The local authorities want to get foreign aid directly instead of relying on Kiev’s generosity, officials told the Washington Post
FILE PHOTO. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. ©Ukrainian Presidency Handout via Getty Images
There is growing dissatisfaction among Ukrainian mayors with President Vladimir Zelensky and his government, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. They want more say in receiving and distributing foreign aid, which is currently funneled through Kiev, several of the city heads told the newspaper.
The Ukrainian government “appears to be trying to sideline mayors to maintain control of recovery aid and to weaken any future political rivals,” according to the Post. Some officials believe Kiev is backtracking on promises to decentralize the government and empower people on the local level to solve their own problems.
At least three Ukrainian mayors expressed this sentiment to some degree in interviews with the Washington Post, including Boris Filatov of Dnepr, Vladislav Atroshenko of Chernigov, and Aleksandr Tretyak of Rovno.
The former two have been publicly critical of Zelensky’s policies amid the hostilities with Russia. Filatov, a strongman politician who has led the city since 2015, recently took issue with the president’s move to strip Ukrainian citizenship from Gennady Korban, a longtime ally of Filatov.