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The Comedian who could become Ukraine's President

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  • The Comedian who could become Ukraine's President

    Polls suggest Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian with no previous political experience, has become one of the frontrunners in Ukraine's presidential election:-

  • #2
    The Comedian who could become Ukraine's President

    Polls suggest Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian with no previous political experience, has become one of the frontrunners in Ukraine's presidential election:-


    • #3
      Ukrainians once again are voting for someone they hope has a magic wand, Portnikov says
      EUROMAIDAN PRESS Paul Goble 2019/04/02 - 12:02

      No one should have been surprised that Volodymyr Zelenskyi ran far ahead of all other candidates in the first round of the Ukrainian presidential election, Vitaly Portnikov says. His victory shows that Ukrainians continue to vote their hopes that someone will come to office with a magic wand and solve all their problems.

      The Ukrainian commentator says that what this shows is not that Zelenskyi is some special phenomenon in fact, the television personality was simply boosted into the top position by oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi but that the Ukrainian voter has not changed over the last two and a half decades.

      According to Portnikov, the Ukrainian voter traditionally casts his or her ballot not for a manager or a political leader but for a magician and then after a year or so having become convinced that his or her idol has no magic wand grows disappointed with the choice and begins to blame him rather than himself or herself.

      Over the last 28 years, he continues, only one of [Ukraines] presidents has succeeded in being re-elected for a second term, Leonid Kuchma. But now few recall that it was precisely Kuchma, who also unexpectedly for many having won the 1994 elections was the first Ukrainian president of great hopes. But having won, he rapidly showed he was no miracle worker.

      The next Ukrainian president of hopes was the idol of the Orange Maidan, Viktor Yushchenko. But when he sought re-election, he had lost so much support that he did not even get into the second round. Instead, he lost to Viktor Yanukovych, the president of the hopes of the Ukrainian east, who ultimately was ousted by the Maidan of 2013-2014.

      Poroshenko, too, came out of nowhere and became another president of hopes, hope that the legitimacy of the presidency would be restored, that the war would be finished, and that the occupied territories would be recovered.
      But, predictably, he was unable to achieve what Ukrainians hoped for when they voted for him. And so the cycle is continuing.

      In this sense, Portnikov argues, Volodymyr Zelenskyi is the Kuchma, Yushchenko and Poroshenko of 2019, the candidate of hopes in a pure form, given that even more than his predecessors he has no record and people can invest in him whatever their hopes dictate without fear of immediate contradiction.

      Whats likely to come next is not so difficult to predict, the commentator says.

      Poroshenko will be able to defeat Zelenskyi in the second round only if there is a maximum consolidation of the national-democratic electorate and that the voters view Zelenskyi as unpatriotic and his election a threat for the future of Ukraine.

      But those conditions may not be met, and Zelenskyi may be elected, Portnikov says. And what that will mean is suggested not only by the last decades of Ukrainian politics but also by the behavior of Zelenskyi himself. During the campaign, he said he would get on his knees to ask Putin for peace.

      But once he won the first round and looks set to become president of Ukraine and not some other country, he said that he would meet with the Russian president only after the return of the occupied territories and only in order to demand compensation for the occupation of Crimea and the Donbas.

      æ, !

      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


      • #4

        Comedian to face incumbent President in run-off and other takeaways of Ukrainian elections
        EUROMAIDAN PRESS Yuri Zoria 2019/04/02 - 20:51

        Three major exit polls predicted a 29.2-30.4% result for comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyi, 17.8%-19.2 for incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, and 13.8%-14.2% for Tymoshenko.

        The results of the first round of the Ukrainian 2019 presidential elections show that the surveys were pretty accurate. Zelenskyi wins the first round with more than 30.2%. Poroshenko receives 15.9%. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is trailing in third place with 13.4%.

        Nobody received more than 50%, this means that Ukraine will vote again in the run-off, where Zelenskyi and Poroshenko will compete. According to the law, the repeated voting will take place three weeks after the day of the first round, on 28 April.

        Here is my subjective opinion on four key points the first round showed:

        1. TV promotion works
        Volodymyr Zelenskyi is a TV celebrity who has been promoted for years by the second most popular Ukrainian channel 1+1 owned by oligarch Kolomoyskyi. Zelenskyi had multiple comedy shows on 1+1, as well as co-hosted programs with various Russian comedians.

        In November 2015, the TV series Servant of the People premiered on 1+1, where Zelenskyi plays a part of a history teacher, Russian-speaking Ukrainian Vasyl Holoborodko who by chance of fate becomes president. Its second season came out in 2017, and the third started in late March 2019, just several days before the real presidential elections, in which Zelenskyi had participated. This TV series can be called the longest political commercial ever, since many people all-around Ukraine voted for a positive TV character having no idea what the real Zelenskyi is going to do as president he hasnt still voiced who the members of his team will be and what policies he is going to pursue.

        On the other hand, Ukrainian media have been demonizing incumbent President Petro Poroshenko starting from 2014. It has been normal for Ukrainian media to skip reporting on any successes the state has achieved or to downplay their importance, focusing on any negative events, as well as to blame Poroshenko personally of any failures, no matter real or fake. And it unfolded amid the disastrous information policy of the presidential administration and multiple dubious appointments.

        In fact, over the five years in which Ukraine succeeded in not just surviving as a state, but also in conducting many ground-breaking reforms. Meanwhile, the media coverage of the presidential activities typically consisted of the messages that Poroshenko doesnt do something or does something wrong or covers corruption or himself embezzles or even is worse than oustd ex-president Yanukovych. In the background of this information tendencies of the Ukrainian media, Russia didnt stop pushing false narratives of Ukraine as a failed state with incompetent leadership.

        For example, the latest case in the row was linking Poroshenkos name to suspected embezzlement in Ukrainian defense industry concern Ukroboronprom by journalists of without any real connection of Poroshenko to the suspected corru

        2. Tymoshenko has lost, can she return?
        Former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko came third in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election with about 13% of the vote share. In December 2018, just before Zelenskyi announced his bid for the presidency, she led in surveys with 12-14%. Five years ago, Tymoshenko finished the 2014 presidential run with almost the same 12.8%. This shows that her electorate is stable.

        Can Tymoshenko become the head of state? Well, technically, she still has three possibilities.

        Article 85 Paragraph 3 of the Law on the Elections of the President of Ukraine says that if one of two candidates included in the repeat vote ballot paper withdraws not later than 12 days prior to the repeat voting day, then the Central Electoral Commission should immediately replace such a candidate with the one next by the number of votes received on the election day.

        This means that if Zelenskyi withdraws before 16 April, Tymoshenko will take his place in the run-off and can try to beat Poroshenko in the second round. Though if Zelenskyi will withdraw later, only Poroshenko will remain in the ballot, according to Paragraph 4 of the same Article.

        Just as the results of the official exit polls emerged, Tymoshenko refused to accept them, claiming that her party had conducted their own survey in which she outruns Poroshenko with 20% against his 17%. Meanwhile, Poroshenko said that

        [the Ukrainians] have broken the Russian scenario for the first round, because [Russia] would certainly like to see not Poroshenko in the second round.

        The cited norm of the law and the mentioned statements of the politicians may shed light on possible agreements between Tymoshenko and Kolomoyskyi who is behind Zelenskyi and with whom Tymoshenko had reportedly met several times before the elections. They could have planned to have Zelenskyi and Tymoshenko in the run-off round and withdraw Zelenskyi days before the voting when only one candidate (read: Tymoshenko) would remain in the ballot paper.

        At least, Poroshenko seems to believe that it was the scenario, alternatively, he could imply that Russia wanted to see Tymoshenko and it overt supporter Yurii Boyko.

        There is another possibility for Tymoshenko to head Ukraine. Ukraine is a parliamentary-presidential republic, where the parliament, Verkhovna Rada, has more powers than the head of state, the president. Back in September 2018, Yuliya Tymoshenko presented her conception of a new constitution of Ukraine. Her project makes Ukraine a purely parliamentary republic, in which most presidential powers would be transferred to a chancellor appointed by the parliament. The President in this scheme plays a mere ceremonial, non-executive role.

        If Tymoshenkos plan was agreed between Tymoshenko and Kolomoyskyi, then we may witness an attempt of the Servant of the People party, existing only on paper for now but already having high ratings, to win the constitutional majority at the parliamentary elections in October 2019 with subsequent efforts to amend the Constitution in order to change Ukraines form of the government.

        The third possibility for Tymoshenko to become the head of state is much more traditional she can still wait five more years and run for the presidency once again in 2024. However, her popularity wanes year by year (she had 25% in the first round of the 2010 presidential elections against 12-13% in 2014 and 2019). Thus, this option is much more unlikely than replacing Zelenskyi in the run-off or attempting to break the existing government form and become a chancellor.

        3. Nationalism not popular
        The 2019 elections confirmed that far-right parties still have almost zero popularity in Ukraine. The only far-right candidate Ruslan Koshulynskyi (Svoboda party, also supported by the C14 nationalist group) gets only 1.6%.

        In 2014 the results were similar. At first, Oleh Tiahnybok (from the far-right Svoboda) and Dmytro Yarosh (far-right Right Sector) failed at presidential elections with 1.2% and 0.7% respectively. Later that year, both right-wing parties didnt pass the 5% threshold at the parliamentary elections, gaining only 4.7% and 1.8%. In single-member constituencies, the parties received only 8 seats in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada. One more far-right parliamentarian not represented in Parliament was Andriy Biletskyi, who now leads his party National Corps.

        The actual results of the free and unfettered expression of the Urainian citizens sharply contrast with the half-decade-long Russian propaganda campaign exploiting the narratives of the purported rise and growth of fascism and nationalism in Ukraine.

        4. Yanukovych voters still vote for his party free parts of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts showed just the same result as they showed at several previous elections. Both regions still vote for Yanukovych, or rather for his fellow party man. Yuriy Boiko leads in both regions with more than 40%. Openly pro-Russian Boiko is the leader of the parliamentary party Opposition Bloc, the largest fragment of Yanukovychs Party of Regions which collapsed back in 2014 shortly after its leader was ousted by the Euromaidan revolution.

        Both eastern-Ukrainian oblasts were the electoral foothold of Yanukovych and his party, and the latest voting shows that they remain as such. The war didnt change anything in their political preferences.

        Volodymyr Zelenskyi has a strong chance to become President at the run-off. However, we cant say that Petro Poroshenko has no chances. Especially, if the incumbent President manages to consolidate the pro-Ukrainian electorate in the next three weeks.

        æ, !

        Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


        • #5
          Hacked 2014 docs from Russias LDPR party outline plan eerily similar to Zelenskyi campaign

          Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), had on 3 April declared that his party will only recognize the Ukrainian elections if Volodymyr Zelenskyi is the winner. Hacked docs from his party in 2014 indicate a plan which is bewilderingly similar to the one used by Zelenskyi's campaign.
          EUROMAIDAN PRESS Alya Shandra 2019/04/06 - 00:58

          When on 3 April, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of Russias third-largest party LDPR, declared that he will recognize Ukrainian elections only if the winner is comic-turned-candidate Volodymyr Zelenskyi, it came as no surprise.

          After all, during the election campaign, Russian media made his opponent, incumbent President Poroshenko, the key target of hate speech, as revealed by prevailing sentiments on the Russian VKontakte social network. The reason for that is that Poroshenko, who came to power after the Euromaidan revolution ousted his pro-Russian predecessor in 2014, has taken a hardline stance against Russia and despite the blow of Russias occupation of Crimea and war in Donbas led Ukraine westward.

          This has made many analysts suppose that Russia prefers anyone but Poroshenko to win the election. Taken together with Zelenskyis vague statements on Russia and total inexperience in politics, this makes one suppose that Zelenskyi is the preferred candidate for Ukraines huge, aggressive neighbor.
          However, what does come at least as a striking coincidence, is a plan to get someone like Zelenskyi elected which came allegedly from the servers of LDPR in September 2014.

          The plan, obtained by a group of anonymous hackers from the LDPR servers within a roughly 3Gb tranche of documents, tells a Russian political technology plan to plant a comedian-led-party into the Ukrainian Parliament. It was again brought to the light of day after the first round of the Ukrainian presidential elections, which took place on 31 March 2019, by journalist Christo Grozev.

          Christo Grozev @christogrozev
          Back in 2014, a trove of documents from Russia's LDPR HQ was hacked . One of the documents was a "political technology proposal" to plant a "comedy candidate" in Ukraine's elections: a non-oligarch, "man of the people" who would be allowed to say "what politicians don't"
          426 2:44 AM - Apr 2, 2019

          Since being shared on in September 2014, the resources on which the tranche of documents was hosted were deleted (1,2,3). But some images are still hosted here. (The hack probably continues to live in the torrents of the darknet. If you locate it, please send me a message. So far, weve been able to find only one half).

          Are the leaks authentic? In a post back from 2014, Christo Grozev brings attention to several criteria which may be used to answer that question.

          First, the sheer size of the tranche and the coherent narrative of the documents allows suspecting that it would have taken too much effort to realistically forge that many files.

          Second, the presence of content unavailable from other sources, such as a draft Zhirinovsky interview with Argumenty and Fakty which never came out, and content which cant be fabricated such as a Zhirinovsky court claim against the Ukrainian state, personal bills, and voice recordings all lend credibility to this dump being the real thing.

          The dump contains correspondence with the leaders of the Russian puppet republics in Ukraines east, the Luhansk and Donetsk Peoples Republics, their passport data, a scheme for transporting fuel from Russia into the republics, and plans about creating a press center there.

          But the most striking document in todays circumstances, when incumbent Poroshenko, who got under 16% of votes in the first round, faces a comic with no political experience who got over 30%, is a plan codenamed Buratino Russian for Pinocchio.

          æ, !

          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


          • #6

            Zelenskyi Pt 2

            Pinocchio political project
            The document starts with outlining the overall Ukrainian political situation post-Euromaidan, after the presidential elections in May 2014 but prior to the parliamentary elections in October 2014:

            The protest electorate grows in relation to the previous [Yanukovych-era] authorities, which many consider traitors. But dissatisfaction grows also with the new Maidan authorities, among those, who had supported it not long ago. First of all, there are many among the dissatisfied who hoped to see new faces in power, and the oligarchs to be removed from power.

            In this situation, a large proportion (around 40% according to the preliminary sociological polls) of the protest electorate is ready to vote for Aunt Fanny, just not for the existing known parties and identical politicians.

            And then boom. Remember the funny Darth Vader candidate which made headlines during the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election?

            Pensions starting from age three! Darth Vader support for the children, hope for the pensioners! says this sarcastic poster advertising Darth as a candidate from the Internet Party

            It turns out he was more than a joke. At the 2014 presidential elections and elections to the Kyiv and Odesa mayors,
            the candidate Darth Vader tested out an electoral technology titled Im sick and tired of it all, so Ill vote for him.

            The effect surpassed all expectations, the document says. Darth was banned from participating in the presidential elections following a media splurge, but his participation in the mayors elections elicited an active response from traditionally passive young voters, whom other parties had attempted to activate and bribe without result. Darth even won the Odesa mayors elections in one district, thanks to the high participation of students.

            The parliamentary campaign is just starting, the document goes on, and the electorate in Ukraine can be divided into four parts.
            1.Hawks or activists (for the war in Donbas, for NATO, against Russia, etc., etc).
            2.Pacifists (for PEACE and tranquility, and it doesnt matter under which flags).
            3.Materialists (those who regard elections as their personal chance to earn spare cash and attend a free concert).
            4.Apathetic (against everyone and out of spite, because Im sick and tired!)

            People who are dissatisfied with politicians as such have grown in numbers greatly, as it is politicians who drove the country to bankruptcy and war. This electorate hates politicians and wants to take revenge on them in any possible way. And one of those ways is to place the nominal I dont support any candidate checkmark in the voting bulletin, although it was canceled recently. Because of that, it makes sense to put out a candidate who will make fun of all politicians and candidates taken together.

            Such a candidate could be a fairy tale personage such as Pinnochio, the document goes. The pre-electoral campaign can contain lots of unique, attention-grabbing actions which get good media coverage, and will be joined by the youth which participates in flashmobs and other hype-filled mass events.

            Darth Vader on the previous elections positioned himself as a representative of the dark side of the force. Buratino will take the light side. Thus, these two personas will clash in a political battle in their own banter segment, the document continues.

            Darth and Pinocchio will distract voters and the media from the same boring old politicians and will conduct their pre-election race with rhetorics that are on the borderline but touch upon serious topics, albeit in a joking manner.

            He will be one of the people, not the oligarchs. Pinocchio will toss out sharp phrases (slogans and psychological viruses) which a usual candidate couldnt. He will create jokes and demotivators which start living their own life among the people; he will make fun of his opponents, the system, etc. Because he is such a bright and untrivial candidate, the media will hunt after him.

            Pinocchio was a Russian plan for Ukraines 2014 parliamentary elections which never came to life (its cost was estimated at around $440,000). We dont have proof that Zelenskyi is Pinocchio reincarnated, or that Russia is behind Zelenskyi. Nevertheless, there are a few similarities between the two.

            1.Zelenskyi indeed has gathered the protest vote, and has managed to motivate the traditionally passive youth to vote. The age sectors which usually stayed at home during elections had come to the polling booths for the first time, marking a change in Ukraines voting patterns;
            2.Zelenskyi became known among the populace thanks to his comedy acting in Kvartal 95, in which virtually everything in Ukraine, from politicians to races to sexual minorities, was derided and ridiculed;
            3.His stage persona as teacher-turned-president Vasyl Holoborodko in the TV series Servant of the People is one of the knights of the light. Holoborodko fights oligarchs and cleans up Ukraine.
            4.His campaign after the first round has focused on deriding and making fun of his opponent Poroshenko and otherwise turning the political discourse into a joke. The media scramble to be the first to cover every his word. His escapades, one more silly than the last, nevertheless have Ukrainians talking about them all day, and not about the real policy ideas of the candidates.

            Even if Russia did not have a hand in Zelenskyi, its hard not to notice that hes going down the road envisioned in the Pinocchio plan. And achieving great success, at that.

            And thats probably why Russia is most happy to see him as Ukrainian president. But its Ukraine that will be left to deal with a bad joke.

            æ, !

            Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


            • #7
              INTERFAX-UKRAINE 14:57 18.04.2019
              New president must keep, strengthen intl support for Ukraine expert

              KYIV. April 18 (Interfax-Ukraine) One of the main challenges for the next president of Ukraine will be to preserve the existing international support of the country and increase it in conditions where there is a certain "fatigue" with dealing with conflicts, Chairman of the board of Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting Ihor Burakovsky has said.

              "It is very important that whoever becomes president maintains the level of international support for Ukraine that exists today and go further. The world is also changing. There is a certain fatigue from conflicts, not only from Ukraine, but also from other conflicts in the world today. From my point of view, this is an extremely difficult challenge. This is a difficult exam that any future president must take," he said during a conference hosted by UA:First TV at the initiative of the Vyborcha Rada UA public initiative at Interfax Ukraine on Thursday.

              Burakovsky said protecting Ukraine's national political and economic interests today is impossible without the formation of international "pro-Ukrainian coalitions" on a bilateral basis or in cooperation with organizations such as the European Union, the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.

              The expert also believes that it is necessary to quickly and adequately take into account the lessons of what has been done and not been done and very important that, in the process of correcting and restarting certain Ukrainian institutions, not to create the basis for the emergence of "new-old private, corrupt schemes and mechanisms serving other interests."

              æ, !

              Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


              • #8
                INTERFAX-UKRAINE 11:55 18.04.2019
                Donbas should have no special status Zelensky

                The areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions uncontrolled by Kyiv should not be given any special status, Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky said.

                "In my opinion, this is a big deal and we will spend much time getting out of this criminal situation," Zelensky said on Thursday. "Information warfare can help us in this case. I very much hope to use information for bringing those people to a situation, in which they will need Ukraine as much as Ukraine needs them, and for showing that they are Ukrainians, just like anyone else. Many humanitarian steps will have to be made. A lot of anything," Zelensky said.

                There is an information wall between people living on Donbas territories uncontrolled by Kyiv and the rest of Ukraine, Zelensky said, adding that his team planned to create a major European media portal to broadcast its programs in Russian.

                It "will be aired throughout Europe, [...] tell the truth, and report Ukrainian events they want to hear about," Zelensky said. "We will send this impulse and tell them: we are waiting for you, see, you are being held hostage. This is what should be said. Our hostages are being kept there," Zelensky told RBC Ukraine in an interview.

                He also opposed the adoption of a law to guarantee amnesty for the enemy.

                æ, !

                Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                • #9
                  INTERFAX-UKRAINE 11:13 18.04.2019
                  Kolomoisky promises to return to Ukraine if Zelensky elected president

                  Businessman Ihor Kolomoisky has promised to return to Ukraine if showman Volodymyr Zelensky is elected president of Ukraine.

                  In an interview with journalists from the Schemes: Corruption in Detail program (a project of U.S.-government funded Radio Free Europe /Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and UA:First), Kolomoisky said, "Of course I will [return to Ukraine]. I intended to do so earlier, but there is a lot happening there [But I decided not to] to avoid election-related controversies" The interview was aired as part of an investigative report, titled "The Beneficiary."

                  "I had plans to return to Ukraine between the first and second rounds of voting, even before the first round. But because of the fierce political battle, in order not to exacerbate the situation, I decided to stay here and not make anyone nervous in Ukraine," the businessman said.

                  RFE/RL's Schemes said Kolomoisky has resided in Herzliya, Israel, since September 2018. Kolomoisky said he traveled there "because of reasons involving his family," adding, "I am here waiting for what my lawyers will tell me about the latest reports in the media." He said the reports mentioned "alleged investigations in the United States, because no one has commented on them. Nothing is clear, and that's why [my] lawyers have advised me to stay here until the situation is clarified."

                  The U.S.-based ezine The Daily Beast published an article, titled "Billionaire Ukrainian Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky Under Investigation by FBI." The subtitle of the article said Kolomoisky was being investigated for financial crimes, RFE/RL's Schemes said.

                  æ, !

                  Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                  • #10
                    Zelensky Wins Ukraines Presidential Election



                    • #11
                      ATLANTIC COUNCIL David A. Wemer April 22, 2019
                      Zelenskiy Wins: Whats Next for Ukraine?

                      Following his landslide election as president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy must now turn his attention to following through on much-needed economic and anti-corruption reforms, all while continuing to confront Russia in Ukraines east and the illegal occupation of Crimea.

                      The results of the April 21 contest, which saw Zelenskiy beat incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko, with nearly three-quarters of the vote was clearly a vote for change, according to Atlantic Council Eurasia Center Director John Herbst, who is a former US ambassador to Ukraine. Zelenskiy cannot be content with the margin of his victory, Herbst added, as Poroshenkos 2014 first round victory was also unprecedented and he was very popular at the time he won before experiencing a decline in popularity.

                      To consolidate power, Herbst said, Zelenskiy must move on reforms. Adrian Karatnycky, senior fellow and co-director of the Ukraine in Europe Initiative with the Eurasia Center, agreed, explaining that the mandate in the second round was less for Zelenskiy than for hope for a change of course. He argued that the Ukrainian public will be looking for rapid results in terms of movement against corruption, potential economic improvements, and perhaps some progress in dealing with the Russian threat.

                      The fact that most voters were motivated by disappointment with Poroshenko, rather than excitement for Zelenskiy means that Zelenskiy cannot expect any benefit of the doubt, according to Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Anders slund. There is no euphoria about Zelenskiy as a person, he added. There is a quiet rage against the old corrupt establishment.

                      Herbst, Karatnycky, and slund spoke on a members and press call hosted by the Atlantic Council on April 22.

                      Zelenskiy will be somewhat handicapped in the short term, slund noted, as parliamentary elections will likely not happen until October 27.

                      He will have six months when it will be hard for him to deliver because he will deal with a parliament that has its own agenda, Karatnycky added.

                      slund explained that Zelenskiy could act quickly on nominating a new prosecutor-general and anti-corruption prosecutor to begin to fulfill some of his campaign promises before a new parliament is elected.

                      Karatnycky thinks that Zelenskiy has enough support [to lead] one of the two largest factions in [the new] parliament, which will give him a better chance of enacting serious reforms.

                      Zelenskiys biggest immediate challenge, however, will be the continued war with Russia in Ukraines east. Zelenskiy is a neophyte and that is a serious problem when you are dealing with a character like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, Herbst said. The Kremlin will be probing or testing Zelenskiy in the weeks and months to come, Herbst said, as they will attempt to exploit his lack of political experience.

                      Russian military aggression against Ukraine began in 2014 with the illegal annexation of Crimea, followed by the invasion of Eastern Ukraine by Russian military forces. In November 2018, Russian ships captured three Ukrainian naval vessels and two dozen sailors in the Kerch Strait of the coast of Eastern Ukraine.

                      According to Herbst, Putin was hoping that this election might make it easier to push Ukraine away from a pro-European orientation. Despite indications that Zelenskiy might want to change the tactics pursued by Poroshenko, Herbst maintained that the new president is not interested and certainly would not be able to make a deal [with Russia] that in any way cuts against Ukrainian sovereignty. Because the people of Ukraine will not stand for it.

                      Karatnycky added that Zelenskiys recent profile in the last days of the campaign took some of the bloom off of [Russias] expectations that this guy might be someone who will be eager to make some bows in the direction of Russia. That seems to have faded from their calculations. slund noted that Moscow declined to congratulate Zelenskiy on his electoral victory, in a departure from usual Kremlin practice.

                      Zelenskiys inexperience could prompt further Kremlin action and he would certainly benefit from closer cooperation with Ukraines Western allies, the experts said. Karatnycky suggested that the United States and Europe could ramp up some technical assistance to help [Zelenskiy] shape the transition, connect him with Western experts, and begin a dialogue.

                      slund praised the European Unions decision to invite Zelenskiy for a summit in Brussels in early July and hoped the United States extends a similar invitation. The support will be needed, Herbst argued, as a Russian provocation, I think, is to be expected.

                      Herbst reported that the although the amount of disinformation from Russia during the electoral campaign has been overwhelming and constant, evidence suggests that Moscow has actually been less active than we expected.

                      The Atlantic Council, together with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and the Transatlantic Commission on Electoral Integrity, has been leading a Ukrainian Election Task Force to identify and expose foreign efforts to interfere in Ukraines elections since last Fall. Herbst explained that most of the disinformation was focused on accusing Poroshenko of being a fascist, exposing the inexperience of Zelenskiy, and arguing that the elections were fundamentally illegitimate. Herbst also noted that Russian hackers tried to get into the system of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine. That effort failed because of excellent cooperation between the United States and Ukraine.

                      Importantly, the fact that [Russians] have not intervened in a large evident way in the presidential elections does not mean that they will stay their hand in the parliamentary elections, according to Herbst. Given the importance of the parliamentary elections for the future of reform in Ukraine and strengthening of defense against Moscow, it will be vitally important for the West to continue to help Ukraine defend against possible interference in its elections as it continues its struggle for sovereignty.

                      æ, !

                      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp


                      • #12
                        Ukraine elected a president who is a comedian but hes much more than that

                        So Ukrainians elected a comedian president. Unfortunately, thats where most Western analysis about him ends.

                        Yes, Volodymyr Zelensky is a popular TV comedian who played a president in an ongoing sitcom whose title, Servant of the People, became the name of his newly-minted political party:-



                        • #13
                          Zelenskyi proposes holding his inauguration as president on May 19
                          President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyi has written a letter to Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andrii Parubii regarding the date of his inauguration as the country's new president:-



                          • #14
                            Volodymyr Zelensky: Comedian-president calls snap election

                            The BBC's take of Zelensky's Presidential Inaugaration

                            The election was expected to take place in October 2019. But at the ceremony in Kiev Mr Zelensky said "I am dissolving the Verkhovna Rada (parliament)".



                            • #15
                              Zelensky proposes new peace talks with Russia's Putin

                              Zelensky, Ukraine's President has proposed holding talks with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the conflict in the east and Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, ahead of Ukraine's July 21 parliamentary vote.