News & Updates

Is Zelensky the Right Leader at the Right Time?

President Volodymyr Zelensky is in Washington to rally support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s unprovoked invasion. As the war’s second year grinds on, the Ukrainian people are looking for Zelensky to help their country succeed, not just survive. Will Zelensky be able to shepherd Ukraine to victory?

The Journal of Democracy tracks Ukraine’s struggle against Russia’s ongoing invasion.

The essays below examine how Zelensky has remade Ukrainian politics, the depth of Vladimir Putin’s support, the mistakes that could cost Moscow the war, and much more.

How Zelensky Has Changed Ukraine
Volodymyr Zelensky is far more than a brave wartime leader. He began changing the tenor and direction of Ukrainian politics long before becoming president.
By Jessica Pisano

Why Ukrainians Are Rallying Around Democracy
The share of Ukrainians who endorse democracy as the best form of government has risen fast, standing now at more than three-quarters. What explains this shift?
By Olga Onuch

Why Putin Must Be Defeated
The more determined democracies are to avoid war, the greater the risk that autocracies will wage it.
By Andrei Kozyrev

Putin’s Inevitable Invasion
Why did Russia invade Ukraine and why are Russian forces fighting so poorly? The internal logic of its personalist dictatorship is to blame.
By Ivan Gomza

Do Russians Support Putin?
More than window dressing, public-opinion surveys and elections provide a crucial insight into the Russian people’s relationship with their regime.
By Greg Yudin

How Putin’s War in Ukraine Has Ruined Russia
The first two months of the war turned the Russian clock back decades, undoing thirty years of post-Soviet economic gains and reducing the country to an international pariah state.
By Kathryn Stoner

Russia’s Ukraine Obsession
Lacking any ideas for shoring up Russian society, Putin has settled on picking a fight with Ukraine.
By Lilia Shevtsova

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