American publication Politico has written that Ukraine has a plan in case of the president being assassinated during the war. Experts believe that such an event would be a psychological shock but would not affect the defence of Ukraine.
Details: The article notes that since Volodymyr Zelenskyy refused to evacuate at the start of the war and instead asked for ammunition, he has played a key role in mobilising international support to fight Russia.
So it's no surprise that Russian lawmakers and ultra-nationalist military bloggers are clamouring for him to be the first target.
Politico reminds that a number of assassination attempts have already been made on Zelenskyy, but all of them were prevented.
According to the Constitution, the line of legal succession of power is clear – when the president cannot fulfil his duties, his duties are taken over by the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian Parliament). Precisely in order to avoid a power vacuum, at the beginning of the Russian invasion, the political leadership of Ukraine was in different parts of the country.
Politico writes that Ruslan Stefanchuk, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, a member of Zelenskyy's Servant of the People party, does not have a particularly high trust rating in opinion polls.
But as Adrian Karatnytskyi, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Centre, says, this does not matter because Ukraine has a "strong leadership team", and in the event of the president's death the world would probably see a "collective government" of the state.
Politico believes that the governing board would likely consist of Stefanchuk as chairman, along with Andrii Yermak, a former film producer and lawyer who now heads the Office of the President, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov. Valerii Zaluzhnyi would remain the country’s top general.
Karatnytskyi added that he would hope to see TV presenter Serhii Prytula, who currently manages large charitable initiatives and has a high rating of public trust, among the managers.
"The country has reached a point of very substantial solidarity and national unity, so if something terrible happened to Zelenskyy, it would not be as decisive as you might think," Karatnytskyi believes.
Details: He noted that Ukraine had created a "well-honed" administrative, military and diplomatic machine: "I don’t want to say that Zelenskyy is hardly irrelevant to this. But I think the country’s unity is the indispensable thing."
- In March 2022, Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the head of the Office of the President, reported that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy survived more than 10 attempts on his life in the first days of the full-scale war.
- In May 2022, Zelenskyy emphasised that Ukraine is a parliamentary-presidential republic, and the Ukrainian authorities have foreseen various options in the event of a possible assassination of someone from the country's leadership.