The Ukrainian political model is in flux. The war against Russia has eroded the core elements of the old order, in which elections were a focal point of the political contestation and the main mechanism for resolving political conflicts.
Oligarchs have lost their critical role in Ukrainian politics. Their impact on the media and the party system has weakened considerably, which is a very positive development for the country’s democratic progress.
At the same time, the disappearance of the oligarchs as a quasi-institution facilitates the process of power concentration around President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his Office. Given the absence of elections due to martial law, this poses the risk that the new political model might be tailored to the incumbent’s needs to the detriment of the public interest.
As the war becomes protracted, societal pressure to reactivate comprehensive reforms in the country, including the fight against corruption, is increasing. This creates certain tensions between the national leaders and the general public. Ostensibly, the incumbent president cannot and will not be able to ignore this demand, especially if it is firmly and consistently supported by Western actors.