Both supporters and opponents of Zelenskyi have long demanded to know the names of the people that the showman-turned-politician would bring into power with him if elected president. Zelenskyi finally presented the team on the Pravo Na Vladu political talk show on 1+1 TV channel on April 18. Censor.NET reports citing Interfax.
Some of the names on Zelenskyi’s team were known to be members of his inner circle before, while others were new. The candidate presented each and briefly described their area of expertise. He said that they aren’t guaranteed government posts, but the best of them will get them.
Here is the team Zelenskyi presented on April 18, in the order he presented them:
Ruslan Stefanchuk is the team’s ideologist responsible for reforming the country’s legal institutes and developing legislation, "a man with big ideas and a big heart."
What we know: Stefanchuk is a distinguished Ukrainian scholar specializing in non-property rights, intellectual property laws, and civil rights. He is often called the ideologist of Zelenskyi’s campaign and one of the authors of Zelenskyi’s election program, which included ideas crowdsourced from social media users. He also manages Zelenskyi’s meetings with experts.
He says he has known Zelenskyi for a good two decades: They met while performing KVN, a student comedy competition popular in Russian-speaking countries. But in the early 2000s their paths separated. Zelenskyi approached him in March 2018.
Ivan Bakanov will be responsible for the future president’s relations with parliament.
What we know: Bakanov is the CEO of Zelenskyi’s company Kvartal 95. He is in charge of the presidential campaign of Zelenskyi, who is also his childhood friend from the city of Krivyi Rih. He is the legal founder of Zelenskyi’s party, Servant of the People.
Dmytro Razumkov will be in charge of the domestic policy.
What we know: Razumkov is a political consultant and the managing director of the Ukrainian Politconsulting Group. Razumkov, 35, started his political career as the leader of the youth branch of the Party of Regions. In 2013–2014, he worked with the then governor of Kirovohrad Oblast, Andriy Nikolayenko, who now heads the Osnova political party. During the 2014 presidential election, he was an authorized representative of candidate Sergiy Tigipko, a prominent banker and politician, at the Central Election Commission.
Oleksandr Danylyuk was presented as an expert in foreign relations, economics, and finance.
What we know: Danylyuk was the Finance Minister of Ukraine in 2016-2018. Danylyuk was fired from the government after a conflict with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman over reforming the state fiscal service. He accused Groysman of sabotaging the reform and covering up corruption. He and former National Bank chairwoman Valeria Gontareva steered the nationalization of PrivatBank from oligarchs Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Boholyubov in 2016.
Ruslan Riaboshapka was presented as an expert in charge of law enforcement and anti-corruption policy.
What we know: Ryaboshapka is a former member of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention. He served as a deputy to the justice minister focusing on the fight against corruption before his appointment to the National Agency for Corruption Prevention. He resigned from the agency in 2017 citing systemic issues in its work and officials’ indifference to fixing them.
Halyna Yanchenko is as an expert in anti-corruption and digital policy.
Denys Monastyrskyi will focus on law enforcement.
Serhii Ionushas was presented as an expert on justice.
What we know: Ionushas is a lawyer at the Gelon law firm and the patent and intellectual property attorney for Zelenskyi and Kvartal 95. He is Zelenskyi’s authorized representative at the Central Election Commission.
Ivan Aparshyn is a defense and security expert.
What we know: At 62 years old, Aparshyn is the oldest member of Zelenskyi’s team. He is a career military officer. Starting in 2000, he served in a series of significant, but not exceedingly public positions in the Ministry of Defense bureaucracy. Most recently, between 2011 and 2014, he served as top expert in security and defense for the Cabinet of Ministers. In the 2014 parliamentary election, Aparshyn was a member of the party list of former Defense Minister Anatoliy Grytsenko’s Civic Position party. Grytsenko, a presidential candidate in the 2019 race’s first round, wanted to appoint Aparshyn defense minister in his potential administration.
"Ukrainian forces will be professional and voluntary. They will be strengthened with a modern system of territorial defense and an active reserve," Aparshyn said during Pravo na Vladu. "We will bring into the management of the Armed Forces combat officers who are capable of victory and, most importantly, of protecting the lives of soldiers."
He also promised to make defense procurement and the defense ministry maximally open and transparent — a clear reference to the corruption scandal in state defense concern UkrOboronProm under incumbent President Petro Poroshenko.
"In real time, you will be able to control the effectiveness with which each kopeck that you and I allocate for defense and security is used," Aparshyn said. "I guarantee this to you."
Iryna Venedyktova is focusing on court reform.
What we know: Venedyktova is a professor of law at Kharkiv National University; vice president of the Bioethics and Medical Law Foundation.
Danylo Hetmantsev is in charge of economics, finances, and taxation.
What we know: Honorary president of the Jurimex law firm; President of the Association of tax advisers
Viktoria Strakhova is in charge of the bank sector.
What we know: Strakhova was the corporate secretary at PrivatBank, a bank formerly owned by oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, Zelenskyi’s business partner. She participated in the nationalization of Privatbank in December 2016, and started working in the bank after it became the state property. She left the bank in 2017. Before that, she worked at the National Reform Council, an advisory body at President Petro Poroshenko’s administration.
Mykhailo Fedorov is an expert in digital, e-government
What we know: Founder of SMM Studio, head of the digital strategy of Zelenskyi’s campaign
Oleksandr Merezhko is an expert in foreign relations and democracy.
What we know: Head of the law department at the Kyiv National Linguistics University
Oleh Bondarenko is in charge of environmental policies.
What we know: Lawyer, leader of the public organization Green Fund, which protects the rights of citizens in environmental disputes
Maryna Bardyna is in charge of securing equal rights for men and women.
What we know: Bardyna previously worked as an assistant to reformist lawmaker and former investigative journalist Sergii Leshchenko, who is currently an adviser to the Zelenskyi campaign. At 26 years old, is likely the youngest member of Zelenskyi’s team.
Serhiy Kalchenko is an expert in human rights and electoral legislation.
What we know: Kalchenko is a partner at Hillmont Partners law firm and Zelenskyi’s authorized representative at the Central Election Commission.
Andrii Herus is an expert on energy, utilities, and anti-monopoly policy.
What we know: Herus, 37, is the director of the Association of Consumers of Energy and Utilities, a non-governmental organization that defends the rights of utilities consumers, and a frequent commentator on energy issues. In 2014-2015, he was a member of the National Energy and Utilities Regulation Commission. Before that, he worked in the Concorde Capital investment firm and the Galnaftogaz gas station chain. The homepage of Gerus’ organization features a meter of the "corruption rents from Rotterdam+," a scheme that set coal prices artificially high and, its critics allege, gave unjustified profits to power companies.
Serhii Babak an expert in education and science.
What we know: Babak, 40, is an economist and an expert on education and innovation with over 20 years of experience in the academic world. Currently, he works as the director of educational programs at the Ukrainian Institute of the Future. According to his official biography, Babak spent five years as vice-rector of a private university, led a research center in the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences for seven years, and has served as a member of the National Agency for Ensuring the Quality of Education.
Yevhen Komarovskyi was presented as Zelenskyi’s adviser on medicine.
What we know: Komarovskyi, 58, is a pediatrician and the author of the popular health manual "A Child’s Health and the Parents’ Common Sense," as well as many other books on pediatric and medical subjects. He is also the host of the television show "Doctor Komarovskyi’s School" on the Inter television channel. In his speech during "Pravo na Vladu," Komarovskyi admitted that healthcare is not a central component of the president’s responsibilities unless medical issues threaten national security.
Komarovskyi said he sees two health issues that threaten Ukraine’s national security: the current measles outbreak and the growing deficit of medical cadres in Ukraine.
"A hundred thousand residents of our country have gotten sick with measles," Komarovsky said. Thirty-seven years ago when he was a medical student, "they couldn’t show me a single person with measles," he added.