Zelensky’s chief aide flexes power, irks critics — and makes no apologies


KYIV — 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, Andriy Yermak, was being Zelensky’s friend.

The head of the office of the president, as Yermak’s post is formally known, has always wielded enormous influence in Ukraine. Wartime conditions, including martial law, have 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.

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