Zelenskiy’s first year: New beginning or false dawn?

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By Steven Pifer

There were high hopes for Ukraine’s prospects to develop into a successful, democratic and economically prosperous state when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Unfortunately, the country has experienced a series of false starts and missed opportunities over the past three decades. Volodymyr Zelenskiy became independent Ukraine’s sixth president on May 20, 2019, bringing renewed hopes for dramatic change that would enable Ukraine to realize its full potential, despite the conflict with Russia.

One year later, however, it is not clear whether his presidency will prove transformational or just another false start.

Ukraine had many attributes for success

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