UKRAINE DARKNESS: Zelensky’s Mandate Expires Today – Streets Are Empty as Men Hide From New Conscription Law – MSM Questions the Power of Presidential Aide Andy Yermak – Power Outages All Over the Country

And so we’ve come to the point of the war in Ukraine in which the west’s ‘Knight in Shining armor’, the ‘defender of democracy’ Volodymyr Zelensky has outrun his Constitutional Presidential mandate, and is now in power only by virtue of the martial law he enacted.

That is just the most dramatic of the absolutely disheartening (for Kiev) series of developments.

To begin with, a series of videos have surfaced showing how the streets of Ukraine now are deserted, with men hiding from conscription into the army – and somehow, everyone else seemed to have stayed at home, too.

Watch: Deserted streets as the new mobilization law came into force on May 18th.

In the context of the rapidly progressing Russian Federation forces, even deep-state aligned papers like WaPo feel compelled to report on the shitshow.

They are catching up to TGP’s report on the abnormal powers held by Zelensky’s top aide Andrey Yermak. So now, they’ve come as far as writing:

“If actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelensky’s top credential when he was elected in 2019 was that he’d played a president on TV, the top qualification of his all-powerful chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, was being Zelensky’s friend.”

Ouch. WaPo discusses how martial law, has concentrated extraordinary authority in the presidential administration, ‘making Yermak perhaps the most powerful chief of staff in the country’s history — virtually indistinguishable from his boss’.

American Ambassador meets with Yermak.

Washington Post reported:

“Yermak’s closeness to the president — and evident influence over him — has drawn a barrage of accusations: that he has undemocratically consolidated power in the president’s office; overseen an unneeded purge of top officials, including commander in chief Gen. Valery Zaluzhny; restricted access to Zelensky; and sought personal control over nearly every big wartime decision.

Now, however, the legitimacy of the president and his top adviser are about to face even bigger challenges as Zelensky’s five-year term officially expires on May 20. Ukraine’s constitution prohibits elections under martial law. But as Zelensky stays in office, he will be vulnerable to charges that he has used the war to erode democracy — seizing control over media, sidelining critics and rivals, and elevating Yermak, his unelected friend, above career civil servants and diplomats.”

Eminence grise Yermak controls which officials can travel abroad and when; has sidelined the Foreign Ministry; interfered in military decisions – and brokered key deals with the United States.

His brother Denys was caught on video using his family ties to sell positions in Zelensky’s administration.

‘Eminence grise’ Yermak never leaves Zelensky’s side.

WaPo woke up to the fact that the Defender of Democracy put all six major Ukrainian television stations to broadcast the same news content 24 hours a day, called ‘the United News Telemarathon’.

And, of course, as we spoke at the beginning, there’s the ‘small detail’: Zelensky’s mandate expires today.

“’The Russians will use this’, one longtime Ukrainian official said of Zelensky’s expiring term. To maintain legitimacy, Zelensky ‘must have trust’, this official said, speaking, as many others did for this article, on the condition of anonymity to preserve political relations and to avoid retribution.”

Zelensky’s legitimacy may preclude Moscow’s signing of peace treaties with him.

Zelensky’s legitimacy is a question to Moscow as well, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared.

Putin explained that Zelensky’s status has a bearing on any potential agreement between the countries.

RT reported:

“Speaking at a press conference while on a state visit in China on Friday, President Putin said the issue of Zelensky’s legitimacy is something that ‘Ukraine’s own political and legal system’ must address, ‘first of all the Constitutional Court’. He noted that the country’s constitution foresees ‘different variants’.

‘But to us this does matter because if it comes to the signing of any documents, surely, we should sign documents in such a momentous area with the legitimate authorities’, Putin explained. He added that the Kremlin had regularly stayed in touch with President Zelensky before the hostilities broke out.

[…] In late April, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that a ‘moment will come soon when many people, including those inside Ukraine, will question [President Zelensky’s] legitimacy’.”

Ukrenergo announces power outages.

If all that was not bad enough, today, (20)  hourly power outage schedules started for Ukrainian industrial and household consumers.

The consequences of the brutal, systematic attacks on the Ukrainian energy system are starting to show.

The second largest gas compressor and storage station in Europe, the Bilche-Volitsa station, was destroyed.

The main control room (management), SERB (operation and equipment), administrative building, and security buildings were struck.

Meanwhile, the news from the battlefields adds to the doom and gloom in Ukraine.

Kharkov offensive is wielding territorial gains not only in the north, but also on the east and south, both in Donetsk and also in Zaporozhie, where Russians took back to one memorable village Ukraine managed to conquer in the failed summer offensive.

Now, in keeping with its strategy of fatiguing the badly outmanned and outmaneuvered Ukrainian troops, Russia is rumored to be about to open a new front even further north on the Sumy region – which means to say that Kiev may find itself under attack.

Watch: Kharkov fortification construction targeted by Russian Lancet drone strike. 

Simplicius the Thinker wrote on Substack:

“It could all be maskirovka, of course—but it certainly is thought-provoking. It’s in Russia’s best interest to stretch the front as much as possible and totally break Ukraine’s ability to resist, exhausting their units. The only question is how much of the newly-raised forces does Russian command dare commit to such a long-term operation, and how much heavy armor and gear does Russia have to equip another such large force.”

The Russian term маскировка (maskirovka) literally means masking, and in time it came to have the broader meaning of military deception.

But the Sumy attack may be the real thing:

“The latest tactic is exhausting Ukraine’s best brigades for precisely the reason I’ve outlined for months—they are being whisked willy-nilly to and fro to plug gaps because Russian logistics agility is superior.”

Read more:

Northern Kharkov Offensive: A Russian Ruse, or a Dangerous New Front With Multiple Attack Waves? (VIDEOS)

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Paul Serran is a Brazilian writer and musician, completing his first year as a contributor to The Gateway Pundit. He has written books, articles, TV programs, documentaries, plays. He joined the 'Information war' in 2017 and started writing for an international - predominantly American - audience. Unbanned in X | Truth Social | Telegram Channel

You can email Paul Serran here, and read more of Paul Serran's articles here.

 

Thanks for sharing!