In an explosive tell-all interivew with Dmytro Gordon, former chief of staff for Zelensky administration opened up on Zelensky’s aversion to criticism, cash in hand payment for MPs, and work with Serhiy Leshchenko.
Zelensky holds grudges over online criticisms
The Ukrainian president feels sore about any critical or sarcastic comments on social media and this is why he wants to see me and many others in jail, claimed ex-chief of stuff Andriy Bohdan in an interview for Dmytro Gordon.
It is an ‘extreme form of madness’, said the retired official adding Zelenksy has hard feelings toward a great number of people ‘ like Yuriy Butusov, Savik Shuster, Dmytro Razumkov and his group’.
Ukrainian president is stuck playing his TV series character
Zelensky just can’t shake off his character. He ‘doesn’t tell lies’, yet he just ‘keeps playing his character from ‘Servant of the People’ TV series’, which is just fiction and far cry from our Ukrainian reality’.
‘He comes out, says something, it gets recorded on a camera, lights go down, and after that he just doesn’t care. Got a nice picture? People liked it? It got applause? He did his thing’.
On work with Serhiy Leshchenko
Former president’s aide took a swipe at former MP and political activist Serhiy Leschenko.
Andriy Bohdan said he regretted his own decision to recruit former Ukrainska Pravda editor-in-chief for Zelensky’s team calling it his ‘sin’.
It was initially perceived as a smart move given Leshchenko’s alleged connections with foreign diplomats they were planning to benefit from.
‘After the  elections, he (Leshchenko) took offense we didn’t select him to be ‘Servant of the People’ candidate’.
Bohdan said Leshchenko was snubbed due to his former affiliation with Petro Poroshenko’s party whereas they were looking for ‘new faces’.
Later, Leshchenko wanted to work for state rail operator Ukrzaliznytsya to clamd down on corruption there and Bohdan facilitated his appointment, which eventually proved another disappointment as in this new role Leshchenko keeps ‘shooting himself in the foot’ and there has been no news about his accomplishments.
On cash in hand payments for Servant of the People MPs and foreign diplomacy scams
Another damning revelation had to do with the system of secret payments enjoyed by Ukrainian lawmakers who, according to Andriy Bohdan, are paid ‘unofficial salary’ that amount to ’20 thousand and its not hryvnas’. Each MP’s voting is kept an eye on and fined if they fail to back some of the laws pushed for by the ruling coalition.
Prosecutors are throwing up hands as they do not have Specilized Anti-corruption prosecutors office to tackle this issue. Ukrainian officials promised to have it up and running by November this year, and that was the pre-condition for getting a new IMF loan, yet the process stalled.
The former official called the broken promise a ‘scam at the highest level’.