Ukraine's Election 2019: LIVE Updates (first round)

March 11, 2019
The first round of Ukraine's Presidential elections took place on 31 March, while the second round is set for 21 April. This article is your go-to place for all election-related news.

[2 April, 13:02] — The ambassadors of the G7 countries welcomed the preliminary findings of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on the holding of the first round of presidential elections in Ukraine.

[2 April, 12:03] — Despite all previous claims of her team, Tymoshenko has no chance of making it to runoff after 98% of ballots processed

[1 April, 17:27]"One view among analysts is that anger over Mr Poroshenko’s failure to do more to raise living standards and combat corruption is so deep that he will struggle to win over enough supporters of candidates eliminated from the race, including Ms Tymoshenko, the pro-Russian candidate Yuri Boiko and the reformist Anatoliy Hrytsenko," Financial Times writes. “Any criticism of Zelensky just bounces back,” said Volodymyr Yermolenko, editor in chief at Ukraine World. He noted how the actor hit back at claims that he was an oligarch’s puppet by pointing to a recent corruption scandal involving the son of one of the president’s top advisers.

over 80% of votes counted; Zelenskyi 30.41; Poroshenko 16.01%, Tymoshenko 13.25%

[1 April, 14:05] Russia responds to Zelenskyi saying it does not occupy any Ukrainian territory. Dmitriy Peskov, press secretary of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, said: “Russia does not occupy any Ukrainian territory… Words “occupation” or “annexation” cannot be applied to Crimea de jure or de facto” as “everything that happened in Crimea was held in strict observance of Ukrainian law and based upon the international law”

[1 April, 13:36] Shares of top Ukrainian companies on Warsaw stock exchange (WSE) and London stock exchange (LSE) are relatively calm, reports

[1 April, 12:55] Our first (subjective) conclusions: 1) Ukraine held a fair, democratic election 2) only 1 out of top-5 candidates has *pro-Russian rhetoric (Boyko), 3) reforms is the key agenda of this vote, 4) South and East, previously mostly pro-Russian, now votes for Zelenskyi (his rhetoric is pro-Western) 5) virtual reality wins over "hard" reality, 6) Zelenskyi is populism 2.0: promotes himself, not a policy, 7) we are entering the period of a new political marketing, 8) youth is no longer passive.

[1 April, 12:11] Zelenskyi wins in 20 regions, including Kyiv. Poroshenko wins only in Western Ukraine (Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts). Boyko leads in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (government-controlled). Source: Central Election Commission. Number of protocols processed - 45%-87%, depending on the region.

[1 April, 12:04]69.76% votes protocols counted: Zelenskyi 30.45%, Poroshenko 16.19%, Tymoshenko 13.14%, Boyko 11.55%, Hrytsenko 7.05%. Source: Central Election Commission

[1 April, 11:58] — 2nd round: Tymoshenko voters will most probably vote for Zelenskyi; Hrytsenko voters - for Zelenskyi and Poroshenko, reports Rating public opinion agency.

[1 April, 10:30]Voters’ turnout map. Most active: Lviv oblast, Kyiv, Volyn oblast; least active - Transcarpathia. Trends: western Ukraine less active than usual; Donbas more active than 5 years ago

Petro Poroshenko headquarters has been conducting parallel counting of votes during the elections on 31 March. The figures say that current President enters run-off with 16,2% of support. His key contenders - Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Yulia Tymoshenko - enjoyed 29,8% and 13,4% of support respectively of those who have casted their vote.

[1 April, 10:30] — More than 2 000 appeals and reports on electoral violations during the voting process on 31 March were received by National Police of Ukraine. As a result, 39 criminal proceedings have been opened.

[1 April, 09:55] — According to data provided by Central Electoral Commission, the voter turnout at presidential elections was 63,52%. The highest turnout was recorded in Volyn oblast (68.35%), Lviv oblast (68.88%) and Kyiv (68.01%). The lowest numbers (below 60%) showed Zakarpattia (46,99%), Chernivtsi (56,07%), Luhansk oblasts (56,76%).

[1 April, 08:29] — 10 mln 756 thousand 850 of those who could have voted ignored the elections, Central Electoral Commission reports.

[1 April, 08:05] — The last polling station on Ukraine’s presidential elections - in San Francisco, CA, - had ended its work, which means the voting process officially came to en end. San Francisco saw the lowest voters turnout among other USA cities, with only 395 persons who had casted their votes.

[1 April, 07:12] — Data collected from foreign polling stations (101 in total) stress Petro Poroshenko leadership: with almost 90% protocols processed, current president heads the list with 38,31%, followed by Volodymyr Zelenskiy (25,94%). Yulia Tymoshenko ranks 7th with 4,26% result.

[1 April, 06:45] — With 38,85% protocols processed by Central Electoral Commission, Volodymyr Zelenskiy secures the first place with 30,23%, followed by Petro Poroshenko (16,64%) and Yulia Tymoshenko (13,14%).

[1 April, 00:25]Hrytsenko will endorse neither Poroshenko nor Zelenskiy in the second round. “I will not endorse Poroshenko in the run-off on any conditions. I don’t want five more years of deception and marauding... I can’t encourage people to vote for Zelenskiy either because I don’t know him,” Hrytsenko said. It is currently unclear who his electorate (approximately 7%) would support.

[31 March, 23:38]Poroshenko says public debates between two candidates are “key element” of the pre-election process. Zelensky said he is ready for debate: “yes, I am ready. Poroshenko, or not, I don’t care”, he said.

[31 March, 23:30]Tymoshenko says her team conducts alternative counting of vote, based upon original protocols from local election commissions. After 29% of protocols counted, she presents the following figures: Zelensky 23.9%, Tymoshenko 18%, Poroshenko 14.7%. Tymoshenko still does not accept results of exit polls (all three put her 3rd, beyond run-off) and insists she enters the 2nd round with Zelensky

[31 March, 23:03]Updated results of National exit poll (data by 8pm): Zelenskyi 30.6%; Poroshenko 17.8%; Tymoshenko 14.2%, Boyko 9.7%, Hrytsenko 7.1%

[31 March, 22:34]Zelenskyi says he can’t name his political team, and promises to give the names “by the end of the 2nd round”. When asked “what he would tell Putin during their first meeting”, he said: “finally you gave our territories back; how much money are you ready to compensate for the fact that you took our lands”, hinting that this meeting would take place only after Russia returns annexed and occupied territories to Ukraine.

[31 March, 22:18]Voters’ turnout on Donbas: 59.15% in Donetsk oblast, 57,87% - Luhansk oblast. Difference compared to 2014, when Donetsk oblast had 10%, Luhansk oblast had 16%, reports

[31 March, 22:18]Zelenskyi expects voting results and plays table tennis with a reporter.

[31 March, 22:0] — Highest voters’ turnout, as of 8pm: Kyiv (68.14%). Lowest: Transcarpathian oblast (48.84%). General turnout: 63.62%) Data: Central Election Commission.

[31 March, 21.34] Three exit polls give relatively similar picture: 1. Zelenskyi, 2. Poroshenko, 3. Tymoshenko, 4. Boyko, 5. Hrytsenko. Only Tymoshenko team’s “own” exit poll give her 2nd place. Summary: National exit poll (Zelenskyi 30.4%; Poroshenko 17.8%; Tymoshenko 14.2%, Boyko 9.8%, Hrytsenko 7.1%). Exit poll by SOCIS and TV channel Priamyi (allegedly linked to Poroshenko): Zelenskyi 29.25%; Poroshenko 19.19%; Tymoshenko 13.75%, Boyko 9.24%, Hrytsenko 7.91%. Exit poll by TSN (news service of 1+1, a TV channel linked to Kolomoyskyi): Zelenskyi 30.1%; Poroshenko 18.5%; Tymoshenko 14.0%, Boyko 9.1%, Hrytsenko 7.6%

[31 March, 21:24]Voters’ turnout, as of 8pm: 65.28%( Data: [Central Election Commission].

[31 March, 21:17]Poroshenko says he will face “Kolomoyskyi’s puppet” (meaning, apparently, Zelenskyi) in the 2nd round. Kolomoyskyi is one of Ukraine’s most powerful oligarchs; Zelenskyi and Kolomoyskyi have common business interests around TV channel 1+1

[31 March, 21:12]Yulia Tymoshenko says she enters the 2nd round, with 20.9% of the votes, according to an alternative exit poll. She doesn’t specify which one, however.

[31 March, 21:00] — Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s incumbent president, commented the results of the national exit poll, saying voters “destroyed Russia’s scenario” as Russia “did not want to see Poroshenko in the 2nd round”

[31 March, 20:55] — Yulia Tymoshenko, a presidential candidate, says she disagrees with the results of the national exit poll. According to the poll’s outcomes, Tymoshenko remains third in presidential race, after Volodymyr Zelenskiy and current president Petro Poroshenko.

[31 March, 20:35] — According to national exit poll, Volodymyr Zelenskiy takes the lead in presidential race with 30,4%, followed by current president Petro Poroshenko (17,8%) and Batkivshchyna party leader Yulia Tymoshenko (14,2%).

[31 March, 20:00] — At 20:00, the voting process is stopped and all polling stations are closed in Ukraine. The first exit poll results will be revealed shortly after the end of voting.

[31 March, 19:20] — As of 19:00, National Police of Ukraine received 1768 complaints and reports about alleged violations during the voting process, the press service of Ministry of Internal Affairs reports. The complaints mostly relate to the cases of illegal campaigning, making photo of the voting paper, vote-buying, etc.

[March 31, 19:03] — According to a statement issued by Ukraine's Ministry of Interior, people that have been receiving financial aid from local authorities, particularly in the town of Vasylkiv near Kyiv, are getting telephone calls with a request to "vote right."

[31 March, 18:44] — According to Civic Movement "Chesno", people are being summoned through messengers to a paid rally in front of the Central Election Commission building. Units of the National Guard of Ukraine are being drawn to the quarter.

[31 March, 18:20]Elections have already ended at the furthermost polling station, the Ukrainian polar station "Academic Vernadskyi". 34 members of Ukraine's polar mission managed to cast their ballots in an hour.

[31 March, 18:05] — As of 17:00, Police have registered 1360 reports and notifications about violations at the pending elections. 17 criminal cases have been opened so far.

[31 March, 17:47] — Central Election Commission has registered no systemic violations at the presidential elections so far.

[31 March, 17:38] — Police are veryfying information about bomb threats at 9 polling stations in Dnipro. There have previously been reports about bomb threats at several subway stations in the city.

[31 March, 16:38] — NGO "OPORA" reports that constituents from the Ciscarpathian region are receiving phone calls with a request "to vote for the right candidate from nationalists." These instances are designated as so-called "hidden campaigning", since the name of the candidate is not delivered during the phone calls.

[31 March, 16:13] — According to the Central Election Commission, almost 45% of constituents have cast their ballots in the first seven hours of elections. The most active constituents live in Zaporizhzhia Oblast whereas the least active ones are from Zakarpattia Oblast.

[31 March, 15:27] — As of 14:00, Ukrainian Police received 522 reports about violations of the electoral procedure. 8 cases have been opened.

[31 March, 15:15] — As of 14:00 the Office of the Ukrainain Ombudsman Liydmyla Denisova has received more than 100 appeals from Ukrainians whose right to vote has been violated.

[31 March, 14:22] — According to the Central Election Commission, voting at the polling station at Ukraine's Embassy in Canberra, Australia, has already ended. The turnout of constituents totalled at 7,2%.

[31 March, 14:00] — A mob of around 100 young men has gathered in front of the Central Election Commission. When asked what they are doing there, the men respond that they are "chilling out and waiting". They also say that they have come from different Ukrainian cities to control that elections be fair.

[31 March, 13:40] — As of 12:00, Ukrainian Police received 284 reports about violations of the electoral procedure. Majority of the violations consisted in bribery of constituents, illegal campaigning and making photos of the ballots. 3 cases have been opened.

[31 March, 12:58]— Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a presidential candidate, has made his choice. However, his wife could not vote due to her absence in the list of voters. Hrytsenko voted "for Ukraine without marauders" and suggested "to demolish this criminal power."

[31 March, 12:44 ]— Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine and a presidential candidate, has already voted. “I voted for Ukraine. I am convinced that these elections will be democratic. We will do our best to turn Ukraine into a great country of free, wealthy, and happy people. I'm sure Ukraine will win,” Poroshenko [mentioned]

[31 March, 12:18]— The Central Electoral Commission reports that 16.08% of voters have made their choice (according to information from 81 districts out of 199). Currently, 338 violations have [taken] place during the elections

[31 March, 11:49]— Volodymyr Zelenskiy, one of the presidential candidates, has already voted at the polling station in Kyiv. He promised that the banking system of Ukraine would be stable. Answering the question about the future role of Mikheil Saakashvili in Ukrainian politics, Zelenskiy [mentioned] that Saakashvili would be a good consultant for the future President.

[31 March, 11:29]— Tetyana Slipachuk, the Head of the Central Electoral Commission calls voters to make their informed choice instead of spoiling ballots.
Commenting on the election process, she mentioned that 1 polling station is still closed (as of 11:00).

[31 March, 11:12 ]— Civic Organization "Committee of voters of Ukraine" reported about violations at polling stations in Kyiv and regions of Ukraine.

[31 March, 10:50]— Yulia Tymoshenko, one of the presidential candidates, has already voted at the Podil polling station in Kyiv. “I know that today we have a chance to change everything,” Tymoshenko [says]

[31 March, 10:30 ]— Observers [report] about the first violations: non-admission of observers to the polls, illegal campaigning, voting without passports etc. The Police [received] 25 allegations of violations at polling stations on March 31.

[31 March, 9:58 ] — Two presidential candidates have already [voted] Yuriy Boyko, the member of “Opposition Platform-For life”; Oleh Lyashko, the leader of the Radical Party, and Oleksandr Vilkul, the member of "Opposition Bloc" Party.

[31 March, 9:24] — The voting on presidential elections is under way in Ukraine. Citizens of Ukraine, who are now outside the state, can vote at 102 polling stations in 72 countries, mentions Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

[31 March, 8:50] — Kyiv city mayor Vitaliy Klitschko has already voted on presidential elections. He used bicycle to arrive to the Kyiv-based polling station. Commenting on this, Klitschko stressed the importance for future president not to change the country’s European integration vector.

[31 March, 8:00] — At 8:00 the voting on presidential elections started. To this end, about 29 888 polling stations throughout Ukraine (except illegally annexed Crimea and some parts of temporary occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions) and 101 polling stations abroad have been established. 2344 official observers from 19 international organizations and 17 foreign countries have been registered by Central Electoral Commission.

[30 March, 23:10] — The voting on presidential elections has started at the first foreign polling station situated in Canberra, Australia. Ukrainians living in Australia and New Zealand are able to cast their vote from 23:00 (30 March) till 11:00 (31 March) Kyiv time.

[30 March, 21:01] — The Chairwoman of one of election commissions in Lviv oblast spoiled 180 ballots “by mistake”: criminal proceedings were [initiated]

[30 March, 20:07] — Agitators of one of the Presidential candidates distribute food packages in Kryvyi Rih: The Police [checks] this information.

[30 March, 19:35] — Ministry of Justice of Ukraine [reminds] Ukrainians that tomorrow they can vote from 8:00 to 20:00.

[30 March, 19:10] — Special attention of the Police is [paid] to polling stations in the front-line zone.

[30 March, 18:30] — Ulana Suprun, the Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine, [gave] pieces of advice to members of election commissions and observers who will work during the Election day.

[30 March, 18:00] — Lyudmyla Denisova, The Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, [claims] to receive numerous calls from citizens on the distribution of pre-election campaign materials on a "silence day."

[30 March, 17:23] — Today’s aggravation of the situation in the Donbas is an attempt to pressure and interfere in our Presidential elections; an attempt to intimidate active Ukrainians and Tatars in Crimea, an attempt to reduce the participation of voters in the front-line zone, Iryna Gerashchenko, the President's Humanitarian Envoy at the Minsk peace talk, [writes]

[30 March, 16:58] — Cindy McCain, John McCain's widow, is going to lead the International Republican Institute's observers' mission at the Ukrainian presidential elections. She has already arrived in Kyiv and met the city's mayor Vitaliy Klychko.

[30 March, 16:22] — Ukrainian police report that they have received 159 complaints on violations on the "silence day" from all over the country. Violations include illegal campaigning, bribery, hooliganism and even death threats.

[30 March, 15:49] — Ukraine's Security Service's Special forces unit "Alpha" has taken on the heavy security mode and started patrolling on the streets of Ukrainian cities, as well as at bus stations and airports all over the country.

[30 March, 14:44] — Kharkiv Oblast police say they received 160 notifications of electoral legislation breaches during campaign period, 7 among them having been submitted during the last 24 hours alone. 19 cases have been opened.

[30 March, 14:14] — Stepan Poltorak, Ukraine's defense minister, says that Russia's occupational forces and terroristic groups will do their best to derail just and transparent presidential elections in Ukraine.

[30 March, 13:33] — According to official data provided by Ukraine's foreign ministry, 6050 Ukrainians imprisoned abroad will not be able to vote at the forthcoming presidential elections.

[30 March, 12:36]Chesno civic movement reports that Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Petro Poroshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko keep campaigning on "silence day." All the candidates should have taken down the political ads on billboards, but there are still many left which do not carry the name of the candidates but clearly associate with them.

[30 March, 12:01] — a prayer for honest and fair elections is taking place right now on Kyiv's Volodymyr Hill. Representatives of different confessions are taking part.

[30 March, 11:16]135,4 thousand interior ministry representatives will be on duty on 31 March to ensure safety during elections, Arsen Avakov, Ukraine's interior minister, said. Namely, two policemen and one paramedic will be present at each voting station.

[30 March, 10:39]5528 Crimeans have changed their place of vote for the upcoming presidential elections. Most of them – 1826 – will vote in Kyiv. 696 will vote in Kyiv region, 412 – in Kherson region, 411 – in Lviv region, 290 – in Dnipropetrovsk region.

[30 March, 09:58] — Ukrainian police has stopped a major scheme aimed to buy voters yesterday. Law enforcers in Cherkasy received a tip that voter bribery was taking place in one of the office centres. When policemen came to check out the tip, they saw a long queue of people waiting to be paid. When police searched the office, they found large sums of money and lists of citizens who should have been paid in exchange for their vote.

[30 March, 08:45] — Today is the “silence day” in Ukraine when all campaigning is prohibited. However, we will still be on top of all the election-related events. Normally, at least a few candidates try to find loopholes in electoral law to continue campaigning.

[29 March, 21:30] — The debates between Poroshenko, Tymoshenko, and Zelenskiy did not take place: two candidates refused to attend the political talk show, UKRINFORM [mentions] (

[29 March, 19:30] — Ukrainian Central Electoral Commission recalls that tomorrow, on 30 March, is pre-election silence day. It means any election campaigning and candidates’ political advertising are prohibited.

[29 March, 18:42] — Marie Yovanovitch, US Ambassador to Ukraine, called on Ukrainian presidential candidates to adhere to democratic principles in their campaigns, particularly avoid exerting pressure on the process, as well as resorting to violence and intimidation.

[29 March, 17:52] — 15% of soldiers of Ukrainian Armed Forces will be able to vote on 31 March at special polling stations situated close to contact line on the East of Ukraine, deputy head of General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces Rodion Tymoshenko said. To this end, 79 polling stations near contact line and 1 in Lviv Oblast have been established.

[28 March, 14:00] — All 39 candidates are included in the election ballot: no changes are allowed, the Central Election Commission [says] (

[28 March, 12:00] — In our latest Explaining Ukraine podcast we discussed the upcoming elections with Olexiy Haran, professor at the National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy" and research director at Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation.

[27 March, 16:59] — Our editor-in-chief Volodymyr Yermolenko sat down with Chatham House Ukraine Forum to discuss the key issues in the 2019 presidential elections.

[27 March, 16:59] — Ukraine’s National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council reports about electoral legislation violations by four major TV channels — Ukrayina, Inter, ICTV and 1+1. Council notes these channels shared inaccurate poll data and broadcasted paid stories as genuine news.

[27 March, 13:12] — Ukraine's picking from 39 candidates to be the country's next president. A video by Bloomberg shows what you need to know before the polls open on Sunday.

[27 March, 12:55] — Ukrainian police currently has 222 criminal cases open connected to elections. There are 25 suspects, Ukraineäs interior ministry says.

[27 March, 11:28] — 25 March was the last day when Ukrainian citizens could change the placethey will vote at. 315 thousand chose to do so; many of them are IDPs from Donbas and Crimea.

[26 March, 17:57] — Today Facebook announced it removed 2,632 pages, groups and accounts that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram. The operations we found were connected to Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo. A small number of Russia-originated ones posted content related to Ukrainian news and politics, including the ongoing conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine; local and regional politics; Ukrainian patriotism; refugee issues; Ukrainian military; the situation in Crimea; and corruption.

[26 March, 17:15] — Ukraine’s Western backers fear the country’s next president may prove unwilling or unable to accelerate reforms they have spent five years investing in, whoever it turns out to be, Reuters writes. Kyiv-based Western diplomats said all three left doubt over how effectively they would pass reform, tackle corruption and keep aid flowing. “We certainly know what we get with Poroshenko,” one diplomat said. “We think we know what we’ll get with Tymoshenko. With Zelenskiy, we have no clue.” “All of them are flawed,” said another. “There is no candidate where you will sit there and go: ‘Yes!’.”

[26 March, 16:27] — Press-service of Odesa region prosecution says there were 1,3 billion UAH (48 million USD) stored in local Privatbank to buy voters in the region. Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine's Prosecutor General (who allegedly supports President Poroshenko) announced that Yulia Tymoshenko's campaign office was involved in the scheme.

[26 March, 13:12] — a major scandal between Petro Poroshenko and Ihor Kolomoyskyi, a Ukrainian oligarch allegedly supporting Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the owner of 1+1 TV channel, is taking place. Poroshenko is suing 1+1 for "smear campaigns" targeted against him. 1+1 replies that Poroshenko "goes against the freedom of speech."

[26 March, 12:13] — As of 25 March, Ukraine's Central Electoral Commission has registered 2020 international observers to oversee presidential elections.

[25 March, 18:43]European Pravda has contacted top polled candidates in Ukraine's parliamentary elections — Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Yulia Tymoshenko, Petro Poroshenko and Anatoliy Hrytskenko — to ask them a few questions about their foreign policy preferences. It turned out that their positions are wastly different. The only thing all four agree on is that Ukraine should not break diplopatic relations with Russia — for various reasons. Also, all four candidates said theywould not negotiate with Russia-backed militants in Donbas and keep Minsk Agreements in place (only Tymoshenko would like to modify them). However, they do not agree on the timeframe for Ukraine's EU membership (Poroshenko expects that Ukraine would be able to apply in 2023 and become a member not earlier than 2028; Zelenskiy hopes for Ukraine to receive "plan for candidacy" (such type of agreements does not exists in the EU) in 5 years; Tymoshenko and Hrytsenko refused to give any estimates). Candidates also have different views on facilitation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. UkraineWorld previously also analysed foreign policy preferences in the programmes of Poroshenko, Zelenskiy and Tymoshenko:

[25 March, 16:19] — Ukrainians residing in Russia would be able to vote only if they went to any other country with Ukrainian diplomatic representations, Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's foreign minister, said. According to him, this is the matter of Ukrainian citizens' safety and election integrity.

[25 March, 13:45] — Ukraine's presidential elections will be held in 73 countries. 420 thousand Ukrainians will vote abroad.

[25 March, 12:12] — one week before the elections, the newest poll results have been published by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. According to the poll, 32,1% of those who have already chosen their candidate and will support Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 17,1% — Petro Poroshenko 12,5% — Yulia Tymoshenko. 10,4% would vote for Yuriy Boyko, 6,9% for Anatoliy Hrytsenko. Zelenskiy would beat any rival in second round.

[22 March, 15:47] — The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) says it prevented a terrorist attack at the Industrialna subway station in Kharkiv. According to the organisation's statement, SBU operatives revealed that the Russian special services had recruited a local resident for $15000 to organize and carry out the terrorist attack ahead of elections.

[22 March, 14:44]over 100 thousand Ukrainians have already changed the place they will vote at, as their place of living did not coincide with their registration. This is a result of the simplification of the voting procedure which is a novelty of these elections caused by a big number of IDP who would have no possibility to vote in Crimea or non-govenment controlled areas of Donbas.

[22 March, 13:03] — Yuriy Boyko, founder of the Opposition Platform For Life,does not exclude the possibility of joining forces with Yulia Tymoshenko if she "showed readiness for peace." He also added he would be ready to form a coalition "with everyone who would work on restoring peace in the country and protecting its economic interest."

[22 March, 11:06] — investigative journalists from Skhemy have proven that Yulia Tymoshenkohas visited interior ministry a lot in recent time to meet with Arsen Avakov, Ukraine's interior minister. At the same time, incumbent President Petro Poroshenko uses Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) in his favour, journalists say.

[21 March, 17:32] — With Ukraine preparing to elect its president in March and April, pro-Kremlin information sources persuade Ukrainian citizens that their vote will be falsified. Find more info in our latest #WordsAndWars digest:

[21 March, 16:22] — Olha Aivazovska, the coordinator of civil network OPORA, said that the pre-election period has marked the return of administrative ressource. Namely, "financial help" from the local government or monetisation of subsidies are being used in the way which could be seen as agitation for President Poroshenko. At the same time, Aivazovska also underlined that interior ministry is not a part of someone’s electoral campaign for the first time ever.

[21 March, 13:52] — Ukraine has spent 165 million UAH (6 million USD) to print 30 million ballots for the first round of presidential elections. This amount would be enough to cover 70 football fields or pave the way from Kyiv to Montevideo, Uruguay's capital.

[21 March, 11:52] — The first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections will take place in 10 days time. We have prepared a “survival guide” for you: here are 10 key things to know facing the first round:

[20 March, 15:15] — Christopher A. Hartwell writes in his column for The Washington Post that whoever will become Ukraine's next president, he/she is still facing the powerful currents of a too-powerful Rada, a recalcitrant judiciary, and a state with far too much power over the economy. "The next president will have to build up parliamentary support for reform but also must focus on limiting the power of government at all levels. If Ukraine can increase its move toward decentralization, removing power from Kiev, it may not actually matter who the next president is. And Ukraine can begin the process of revitalization that it has only previewed since Maidan," Hartwell writes.

[20 March, 14:17] — Yulia Tymoshenko stressed she did not beleive in Minsk Agreements since the day they were signed. Tymoshenko also noted that those who gave up on Crimea in 2014 will be on trial for state treason.

[20 March, 12:38] — the newest poll results have been published by Social Monitoring centre and A. Yaremenko Ukrainian Centre for Sociologic Studies! According to the poll, 29,4% of those who have already chosen their candidate and will vote support Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 17,2% — Yulia Tymoshenko 14,9% — Petro Poroshenko. 10,7% would vote for Anatoliy Hrytsenko, 10,4% for Yuriy Boyko. Zelenskiy would beat any rival in second round, poll shows.

[20 March, 11:27] — The Central Election Commission has altered the number of ballot papers it has allocated for the first round of the upcoming March 31 presidential election, increasing the number of first-round ballots by more than a quarter of a million compared to the second round, scheduled for April 21. The Newsroom Telegram channel and the Nashi Hroshi anti-corruption watchdog, citing their sources, attributed the change to a possible attempt by the commission to stuff extra ballots in favor of President Petro Poroshenko in the first round. Kostyantyn Khivrenko, a spokesman for the Central Election Commission, denied the accusations.

[19 March, 19:17] — Ukraine's Central Election Commission registered 44 candidates for presidential elections and only 4 of them are women. This has been the largest number of women candidates for presidential elections in independent Ukraine since 1991. Who are they? We explain this in our latest article:

[19 March, 16:07] — According to Seatarget poll, Yuriy Boyko, former Party of Regions member and the head of Opposition Bloc, leads in Donbas. Of those who have already chosen their candidate, 43% would vote for Boiko in Luhansk region, 35,3% — in Donetsk region. Volodymyr Zelenskiy is second in Donbas — he is supported by 25,2% and 26,1% accordingly.

[19 March, 12:48] — The most remote voting station will be set up in Antarctica, at "Academic Vernadskyi" research station which is 15 thousand kilometers away from Kyiv.

[19 March, 11:08]139 Ukrainian NGOs registered as observers for the upcoming elections. This is the biggest number ever in the history of Ukrainian elections.

[18 March, 18:26] — Ukrainian law enforcement services have already received 3305 addresses on election-related violations. These we mostly concerning illegal agitation (1860 addresses), bribing of voters (449), hooliganism (246) та damage to property (887).

[18 March, 14:54] — President Petro Poroshenko said in the interview with a TV channel that there is no more important task for Ukraine than to ensure the restoration of its territorial integrity. "Ukraine will never resort to any bargaining, or behind-the-scenes agreements. And Crimea will be returned to Ukraine. We will do our best to ensure that this is done as soon as possible, immediately after the presidential elections,"* Poroshenko argued.

[18 March, 13:50]Focus magazine has studied the secret of Volodymyr Zelenskiy's success. According to the article, people do not care about his experience, political programme or foreign policy views. Those who support him merely see Zelenskiy as new face, a man who challenges an old and corrupt system.

[18 March, 12:10] — Serhiy Taruta and Yulia Tymoshenko have signed a memorandum on cooperation in the upcoming elections. No wonder — they both are allegedly supported by Rinat Akhmetov, the richest person in Ukraine. Here are our articles on Taruta and Tymoshenko:

[15 March, 15:10] — Yevhen Radchenko, deputy head of the Central Electoral Commission, said there will be no video surveillance at the polling stations on 31 March, as it is nor foreseen by the law. He also reminded that Ukraine used to spend 1 billion hryvnias to facilitate video surveillance, but it did not prove to be effective.

[15 March, 12:37] — Ukraine's interior ministry urged local officials not to issue financial assistance to the population before elections in order to avoid unwanted influence. Ivan Varchenko, an advisor to the interior minister, said that the law does not regulate financial assistance, but urged to consider the ethical side. "It [social assistance from local officials before elections] creates an atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion... Citizens could receive financial assistance after the elections," he said.

[15 March, 12:37] — Yuriy Boyko claimed that he would cancel reforms of healthcare, education and pension system if he became president. Boyko is sure that these reforms vere unsuccessful and are being used to cover up corruption of the current government.

[15 March, 11:44] — International media seem to be astonished by the fact that Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian, leads the polls. Here's another article on this phenomenon — this time in The Economist. “People want to show the authorities the middle finger, and he is playing the role of this middle finger,” says Volodymyr Fesenko, a political analyst, as quoted in the article.

[14 March, 15:56] — "Vote, we will cover you," a project organised by Ukrainian soldiers fighting in Donbas, veterans and Ukraine's defence ministy, was presented in Kyiv today. Organisers aim to remind Ukrainians that "elections are also a war front" — and people should participate by voting for country's future.

[14 March, 13:58] — Ukrainian elections made it into Bloomberg. "Faced with familiar candidates who seem to offer more of the same—the near-billionaire incumbent, Petro Poroshenko, and former prime minister and onetime natural-gas mogul Yulia Tymoshenko—voters appear to be turning to the absurd. Television comic Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose show Servant of the People takes aim at a hated elite, is leading opinion polls ahead of the March 31 election," article reads.

[14 March, 10:36] have updated their "Poll of polls" — they regularly take all reliable polls and plot aggregated voter's intentions on interactive chart. According to it, Volodymyr Zelenskiy is in the lead, while Petro Poroshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko go hand in hand.

[13 March, 16:15] — another day, another poll results! This one has been held by SOCIS. According to the poll, 27,7% of those who have already chosen their candidate and will vote support Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 19,6% — Petro Poroshenko, 14,8% — Yulia Tymoshenko. 9,6% would vote for Yuriy Boyko, 8,2% for Anatoliy Hrytsenko, 4,8% for Oleh Liashko.

[13 March, 12:26] — Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has released a report on civic space and fundamental freedoms ahead of the presidential, parliamentary and local elections in Ukraine in 2019-2020. It provides a brief overview of developments that have affected the enjoyment of freedoms of opinion and expression, association, peaceful assembly, religion or belief, and political rights.

[13 March, 11:04] — Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been deported from Ukraine, announced he will return to Kyiv on 1 April, the day after the first round of the presidential elections. Saakashvili is sure Poroshenko will not make it into the second round, and therefore "no border guard will follow Poroshenko's order not to let me in Ukraine."

[12 March, 17:54] — On 7 March, Kyiv Post has published a profile on Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which is definitely worth reading.

[12 March, 17:41] — President Poroshenko appointed a new Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. The man is colonel Serhiy Kryvonos who used to run for president, but withdrew his candidacy and supported Poroshenko. Ukraine's President underlined that Kryvonos "has zero tolerance towards corruption."

[12 March, 16:42] — Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine's Prosecutor General, reminded the members of the electoral committees (who vill be issuing ballots and counting votes) about criminal responsibility for issuing a ballot to the wrong person. He also underlined that Ukraine's Prosecutor General's office and interior ministry will be cross-referincing the electoral lists and lists of issued ballots.

[12 March, 13:08] — Petro Poroshenko Bloc demands from Yulia Tymoshenko to go public about her connection with Ihor Kolomoyskiy, Ukrainian oligarch. According to Interfax-Ukrayina news agency, Artur Herasymov, the head of Petro Poroshenko Bloc in Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada, has presented the recording of a recent conversation between Tymoshenko and Kolomoyskiy which concerned elections.

[12 March, 12:05] — Anatoliy Hrytsenko demands resignation of SBU (Ukraine's security service) head in connection to his failed meeting with voters in Mariupol, Donetsk region. The meeting should have taken place on 13 March, but Hrytsenko had to cancel it due to SBU increasing the security level in the area which made large gatherings impossible. Hrytsenko claims this has been done on purpose.

[12 March, 10:50] — Arsen Avakov, Ukraine's interior minister, accused President Poroshenko of using budget money to "buy votes" of pensioners of Kyiv, Odesa and Kharkiv regions. According to Avakov, people mobilising voters for Poroshenko were offering pensioners "financial help" from the local government in exchange for their readiness to vote for Poroshenko.

[11 March, 18:12]Ukrainian Week has published a preview of the first round of presidential elections. "The battle among the top candidates and their support groups is seriously underway, scandals are catching everyone like water thrown from a bucket, and Temporary Investigative Commissions are trending again. Still, Ukraine is unlikely to see any major tectonic break in the political boardwalk. The best indicator of this is the way the Verkhovna Rada is playing dead in the face of this battle. For one thing, it’s already thinking of its own reincarnation and no one’s about to force the situation with the result of the presidential election so much in the air," article reads.

[11 March, 17:50] — Yulia Tymoshenko urged Petro Poroshenko to drop out from the presidential race due to the involvement of his close ally in the scandal at Ukroboronprom, an association of multi-product enterprises in various sectors of the defense industry of Ukraine. Previously Tymoshenko and her party, Batkivshchyna, tried to launch a process of Poroshenko's impeachment, but found no support.

[11 March, 15:31] — Ukraine's High Court has decided on 10 March that Petro Poroshenko's tour around Ukraine as President is not agitation and therefore is not forbidden. An objection against Poroshenko's tour was previously submitted by Anatoliy Hrytsenko, another presidential candidate.

[11 March, 13:40] — According to the research by Rating group, 83% of respondents will vote in Ukraine's presidential elections. However, only 18% have checked whether they are in electoral register. According to the study, 24,7% of those who have already chosen their candidate would vote for Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 18,3% for Yulia Tymoshenko, 16,8% for Petro Poroshenko. The leaders are followed by Anatoliy Hrytskenko (10,3%), Yuriy Boyko (9,9%), Oleh Liashko (5,7%).

UkraineWorld editorial team