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

April 19, 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.
article-photo

Our live election coverage is over. Thank you for following Ukraine's gamechanging elections with us. For more updates on Zelenskiy's activities as Ukraine's President, as well as political, economic and cultural life of Ukraine in general, stay tuned on our website, follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

[22 April, 16:03] — Olena Zelenska, the wife of Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in an interview for BBC Ukrainian service that Zelenskiy family is looking for a tutor who would improve her Volodymyr's Ukrainian. Zelenska noted that people of tyheir age from Kryvyi Rih used to encounter Ukrainian language for the first time only in school, and her husband speaks Ukrainian very well, but he has problems when he is under stress and has to talk fast.

[22 April, 15:10] — Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, have sent a joint letter to Volodymyr Zelenskiy with their congratulations on his election. The EU leaders noted they were “eagerly waiting” for a personal meeting. Apart from that, Tusk and Juncker pledged EU support for Ukraine, particularly in its efforts to implement numerous reforms. They have thus emphasised the importance of further implementation of the Association Agreement.

[22 April, 14:29] — Andriy Parubiy, the Speaker of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada, said that the parliament will appoint the date of Zelenskiy's inauguration in timeframe foreseen by the law (prior to 3 June). He also stressed that he is ready to include the vote on draft law on impeachment on the agenda of the Rada on this Thursday, 25 April.

[22 April, 14:19]Razumkov also said that Zelenskiy's team has its own vision of the Ukrainian language policy. According to him, the popularisation of Ukrainian should be done with carrots, not sticks.

[22 April, 13:25]Zelensky’s top aide Dmytro Razumkov says the first draft laws the new president is going to introduce to the Rada will focus on: extension of direct democracy; lifting of MPs’ immunity; lifting of president’s immunity; recalling MPs by voters; lifting immunity from judges; impeachment of the president, reports Hromadske

[22 April, 12:43]Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, congratulated Zelensky on his election and invited him to visit Berlin.

[22 April, 11:59]Zelensky team received support and congratulations from numerous Russian "media" and politicians, and from Yanukovych and members of his team. But his team rejects it: "We don't need this support", #Zelensky top aide Dmytro Razumkov says.

Zelensky's team says it "doesn't need" support from Russian politicians and Yanukovych

[22 April, 11:48] — Magazine Novoie vremia analyzed 3 possible scenarios of Zelensky presidency: 1) weak president (bureaucracy wins, reforms superficial, Zelensky quickly loses popularity; parliament gets more influence) 2) chaos (Zelensky loses control over the country, Russia destabilizes the situation in Donbas, which leads to bigger chaos inside Ukraine), 3) successful reformer (Zelensky succeeds in making quick reforms, attracts investments, maintains US support, distances himself from Kolomoyskyi and ensures economic growth). More

[22 April, 11:21] — in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, Zelensky also wins, but with less support than in other regions: 60.17% v 36.95%, according to Central election commission

All major foreign leaders congratulated Zelensky on his victory

[22 April, 10:46]Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, "warmly" congratulated Volodymyr Zelenskiy on winning the presidential elections. "Ukraine is a valued member of the Council of Europe. We look forward to continue our cooperation on reforms, including the development of a decent and credible judiciary," he wrote in his Twitter.

[22 April, 9:30] — Petro Poroshenko got 53,7% of votes of Ukrainian citizens living or travelling abroad, while his rival Volodymyr Zelenskiy – 44,83%, data coming from foreign polling stations after the calculation of 97,02% of protocols show. Altogether, almost 57 thousand Ukrainian citizens voted abroad.

[22 April, 8:45]Central Election Commission member Yevhen Radchenko said he does not rule out that the declaration of official results of presidential elections may be dragged out because of weekends and public holidays. The final results could be established and declared on 30 April, he added.

90.83% votes protocols counted by Central Election Commission: Zelenskiy – 73,17%, Poroshenko - 24.50%

[22 April, 8:03]Volodymyr Zelenskiy continues to get congratulations on his electoral victory - this time, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. "I’m looking forward to working with you to continue strengthening the ties between Canada & Ukraine, and creating more opportunities for people in both our countries," Trudeau wrote in his Twitter.

European Council President Donald Tusk: Congratulations to Volodymyr Zelensky. The EU is determined to continue its support.

[22 April, 7:10]The US President Donald Trump called Volodymyr Zelenskiy to congratulate him on his electoral victory. According to Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. “We will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to restore its territorial integrity and counter Russian aggression,” Volker wrote in his Twitter.

[22 April, 02:44] — Central Electoral Commission is processing the protocols very quickly. We are keeping an attentive eye on all the updates, but you can always check the latest figures at the Commission's website.

[22 April, 01:20] — Maksym Savrasov, a member of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada from Petro Poroshenko Bloc, said the party is ready to support "all good initiatives of Mr. Zelenskiy" which are in line with party's political programme.

[22 April, 00:56] — Mikheil Saakashvili, former governor of Odesa region who has been chased off the country by Poroshenko has already submitted his claim on returning to Ukraine to Ukraine's Ministry of Interior and State Border Service. He also noted that "Ukraine's people have created an electoral revolution," while "Zelenskiy has proven that radical changes are possible in any post-Soviet country."

[22 April, 00:48]The U.S. President Donald Trump has also congratulated Zelenskiy on his victory and "brilliant election campaign."

World leaders congratulate Zelensky

[22 April, 00:33]Poland's President Andrzej Duda was the first one to congratulate Zelenskiy on his victory. Duda invited Ukraine's President-to-be to visit Poland and expressed hope that the choice of the Ukrainian people will reinforce Ukraine's resilience on its path towards the Euroatlantic community. Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, also congratulated Zelenskiy and underlined that Ukraine is an important partner of the Alliance and it should stay so despite the change of the President.

[21 April, 23:58] Zelensky’s aide Dmytro Razumkov says dissolution of the parliament "does not seem to be possible". Earlier it was discussed whether it's legally possible for Zelensky to dissolve Rada and call for new legislative election, to have majority in the parliament

[21 April, 23:25] Message by Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council

Donald Tusk: Free elections and peaceful change of power = strong Ukrainian democracy.

[21 April, 23:13] 50% of Zelensky voters and 60% of Poroshenko voters are pro-European. Zelensky voters are more split on NATO than Poroshenko voters. Support to Russian vector in Ukraine is only about 15-20%. These are some takeaways from interview of Ukrainian prominent sociologist Iryna Bekeshkina (Democratic Initiatives Foundation) to Volodymyr Yermolenko from UkraineWorld and Hromadske.ua

[21 April, 22:58] Voter turnout: 62.06%, according to Central Election Commission. Almost similar to the 1st round (62.8%)

Voter turnout: 62.06%, almost similar to the 1st round (62.8%)

[21 April, 22:30] Zelensky wins in all regions, even in the West, according to national exit poll. West: 56.9% vs 41.3%; Centre: 70,2% vs 28%; South 85,4% vs 13,5%, East 87,3% vs 11,5%

[21 April, 22:05] Zelensky said he is going to fire Yuriy Lutsenko as Ukraine's Prosecutor General. He said he is going to continue Minsk process to end the war in Donbas. Return of political prisoners is the task No 1. Said he wants transfer presidential office to a more open space, reports Hromadske

[21 April, 21:57] Zelensky announced a "powerful information war" to end the war in Donbas, reports Hromadske

[21 April, 21:37] BREAKING: Poroshenko called Zelensky and congratulated him on his victory. Zelensky said he “thanked Poroshenko very much” for this. “He said I can count on his help”, Zelensky said.

Poroshenko called Zelensky and congratulated him on his victory

[21 April, 21:33] Exitpolls: TV channel 1+1: Zelensky 73%, Poroshenko 27%. TV channel 112: Zelensky 73.7%, Poroshenko 26.3%. National exit poll: Zelensky 73.2%, Poroshenko 25.3%

[21 April, 21:23] Zelensky's press conference after national exit polls results are published.

[21 April, 21:05] Poroshenko's press conference where he accepts defeat. "Never give up", Poroshenko says

[21 April, 20:55] Poroshenko: “On April 22nd we have to be united and defend Ukraine”.

[21 April, 20:47] Applause to Poroshenko who accepted defeat and said he would leave the office. Source: Liga.net

[21 April, 20:40] Poroshenko says he is ready to help the new president in all issues of national security and share with him achievements of international network of support of Ukraine

[21 April, 20:39] Zelensky’s first reaction after exit-poll results are published

[21 April, 20:31] Exit poll results are obvious, Poroshenko says. “They give grounds to call my opponent and to greet him... as people do in all civilized countries”, he says.

Petro Poroshenko accepted defeat but says he will not leave politics

[21 April, 20:27]Poroshenko accepts defeat. Says he will leave office, but not politics

[21 April, 20:06] Zelensky says he thanks everybody. We did it together, he says. There will be no pathos, he adds.

Volodymyr Zelensky wins in the run-off, according to first data by National Exit Poll. He gets 73.2% of the vote, against Poroshenko's 25.3%

[21 April, 20:06] BREAKING: National exit poll data published: Zelensky wins with 73.2% of the vote; Poroshenko gets 25.3%. Source: http://dif-exitpoll.org.ua/

[21 April, 19:20]The last polling station – in San Francisco – has begun its work waiting for Ukrainian citizens that reside in 12 USA states. 23,893 voters are registered at San-Francisco-based polling station.

[21 April, 18:55]Final calculations from the first international polling station – situated in Australia – show the victory of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko over his rival Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Out of 99 votes, Poroshenko received support of 72 of those who had voted, while Zelenskiy’s result was 26 votes gained.

[21 April, 18:23]Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia and Poltava oblasts are among the leaders in terms of voters’ turnout, which has already exceeded 50%, Natalia Bernatska, Central Election Commission secretary, said. At the same time, the lowest numbers have been recorded so far in Zakarpattia (29%) and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts, she added.

[21 April, 17:49] — More than 430 claims about the cases of violation of electoral process have been received by national police so far, police deputy head Oleksandr Fatsevych said.

[21 April, 17:17] — To date, no large-scale falsifications have been registered during the 2nd round of presidential elections, a counsellor of Ukraine’s interior minister Zorian Shkiriak said. Some of cases of violations that have been documented will not have substantial impact on the voting process, he added.

[21 April, 16:51]3,5 thousand of residents of illegally annexed Crimea and Sevastopol are taking part in the 2nd round of presidential elections, including those who live on continental part of Ukraine, the leader of Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev said.

[21 April, 16:13]Petro Poroshenko campaign headquarters will accept any and all possible outcomes of the presidential elections in Ukraine, Artur Herasimov, head of Block of Petro Poroshenko faction, said. “One of key achievements of the past 5 years is that Ukraine has become a democratic country. This relates to the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of media,” Herasimov emphasized.

[21 April, 15:40]Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has reported about 690 appeals on violations of the voting process, as for 3 p.m on April 21.

[21 April, 15:30]The electoral turnout has already reached 43,86 % as for 3 p.m on April 21. Noteworthy, in the first round of the election the turnout was 45,11% at 3 p.m.

[21 April, 14:43]Civic network Opora reported: the electoral turnout is about 25% as for noon on April 21. Regional turnout is different: Central Ukraine – 26,7%, Southern Ukraine – 28,2%, East and West – 29,7% and 18,4% respectively.

[21 April, 14:43]Zelenskiy was fined for recent violation of electoral process. While voting, he showed his bulletin to the journalists that is against the law.

[21 April, 14:30]Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has informed about 562 appeals on violations of the voting process, as for 2 p.m on April 21. This time 4 out of 430 are subjects for the commencement of criminal proceedings. Besides, 6 reports of administrative offences were drawn up.

[21 April, 14:05]Leader of Radical Party Oleh Lyashko asked for some rest today: "I will not vote. Today is an important holiday, I am going to church."

[21 April, 13:55]Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has already got 430 appeals on violations of the voting process, as for 1 p.m on April 21. Only 2 out of 430 are subjects for the commencement of criminal proceedings.

[21 April, 13:39]The 101-Year-Old woman voted in Vinnitsa. Valentina Karakoy, born in 1918, came to the polling station with her granddaughter that will vote for the first time in her life.

[21 April, 13:20]Ex-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma fulfilled his civic duty and voted. Kuchma named current Ukrainian challenges and said that he even feels sorry for the newly elected president. Besides, he outlined the problem of populism and gave his advice: "Promise less, do more."

[21 April, 12:59]Volodymyr Zelenskiy has violated administrative law during voting; he showed his bulletin with a cross in front of the candidate's name. After he did it, Zelenskiy asked if he allowed doing so and then said to journalists:"I showed you nothing."

[21 April, 12:40]Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine has got 281 appeals on violations of the voting process, as for noon on April 21. Violations are not pressing and mostly connected with illegal agitation and minor bulletin attribution. Meantime, one polling station in Donetsk Oblast is still not open, but Central Electoral Commission is trying to arrange a voting process for people registered there.

[21 April, 12:17]Petro Poroshenko voted at the presidential elections. He gave a short speech and congratulated Ukrainians on Catholic Easter and Orthodox Palm Sunday.

[21 April, 12:17]Ex-Ukrainian President Yushchenko has just voted and urged Ukrainians not to ignore elections: "I made my choice. Make your choice, as for now everything depends on you."

[21 April, 11:35]— Candidate Zelenskiy has just voted with saying: “Despite the final choice, these elections are the win for Ukrainians!”. He didn't speak with journalists, but right near the polling station, the Femen activist was spotted protesting against him.

[21 April, 11:10]Committee of Voters of Ukraine said there are significantly less monitors in the second run-off, as compared to the first round. On many polling stations of Zaporizhia, Cherkasy and Mykolayiv, they have seen no monitors "at all". “In other cases, there are, usually, 1-2 monitors present at polling places,” they claimed. The situation is similar in Luhansk, Vinnytsia and Sumy Oblasts.

[21 April, 10:32]— One polling station has not opened in Donetsk Oblast. Chief of Ukrainian National Police Serhiy Knyazev said the election commission had not start its work in a frontline village Lebedynske, in government-controlled territories. The police have instituted criminal proceedings. All other polls around Ukraine are open.

[21 April, 10:07]— Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights received 140 appeals from Ukrainian citizens on violations of their voting rights, as for 6 p.m. on April 20. Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova said their staff would be monitoring the elections in custodial settingsof all regions.

[21 April, 9:37]— Civic network Opora reported the first violation at a polling station in Yahotyn, Kyiv Oblast. One of the observers could only attend the morning meeting of the district election commission after the head confirmed his right to do so.

[21 April, 9:14]56 charity and public organizations and funds ask Zelenskiy to publicly state his position on the healthcare reform. They published a statement saying they were “shocked by [his] assessment of the transformation of the health system during the debate" on the Olympic Stadium on Friday.

[21 April, 8:45]— Polling stations in China, Malaysia, South Korea were among the first ones open for voting in Ukraine’s second run-off. Ukrainian citizens and representatives of diplomatic missions are posting photos from their voting places.

[21 April, 8:10]Voting in the second round of the presidential elections has officially started in Ukraine. Polling stations around the country are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time.

[21 April, 1:02]Kyiv court of appeal rejected the claim of an attorney Andrii Khilko to annul Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s registration as presidential candidate.

[20 April, 23:42] — Today, at 23:00, Kyiv time, the first polling station on the 2nd round of Ukraine’s presidential elections based in Australia began its work. It will operate till tomorrow, 21 April, 11:00, Kyiv time.

[20 April, 23:17]All polling stations have been provided with voting papers, Tetiana Slipachuk, head of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, stressed. “Next stage is the day of the second round of balloting to elect the President of Ukraine,” Slipachuk emphasized.

[20 April, 22:30] — There are no legitimate grounds for candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy to be removed from elections, Andriy Mahera, former member of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, said, responding to attorney Andrii Khilko-triggered lawsuit filed to the court to annul registration of Zelenskiy.

[20 April, 21:41] — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held phone conversations with both presidential candidates – incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and his rival Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker wrote in his Twitter. As he emphasized, Pompeo reiterated “the US commitment to work with whomever the Ukrainian people choose to ensure the success of a secure, prosperous, democratic and free Ukraine”.

[20 April, 20:54]Today, on the pre-election silence day, Ukrainian national police, according to its spokesperson Yaroslav Trakalo, received 201 claims and messages related to the electoral process. Key citizens’ concerns primarily focused on the alleged cases of illegal campaigning and bribery of voters, Trakalo specified.

[20 April, 20:09]40 thousand police officers will maintain order at the polling stations throughout Ukraine during the 2nd round voting tomorrow, on 21 April, a spokesperson of national policy Yaroslav Trakalo said.

[20 April, 19:45] — As of today, around 2,3 thousand international observers to monitor the 2nd round of elections are in Ukraine, an assistant of the head of State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Oleh Slobodian said.

[20 April, 19:12] — Today, Kyiv-based court of appeal is set to consider the decision that may allow for removing presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy from elections. The respective lawsuit was filed by an attorney Andrii Khilko. As he wrote in his Facebook, the court session on possible annulment of registration of the candidate Zelenskiy will start at 21:00 Kyiv time. At the same time, senior attorney of Zelenskiy’s campaign headquarters Vadym Halaychuk characterized this move as unjustified and the one that have no prospects.

[20 April, 18:39]Since 1 April, shortly after the first round of presidential elections, 76 criminal proceedings with regard to violations of electoral process have been launched by national police, Ivan Stoyko, a counsellor of interior minister, said. “Concerning violation reports we receive, they are primarily traditional, namely related to illegal campaigning, bribery of voters, falsification of electoral documents, violation of electoral rights”, Stoyko stressed.

[20 April, 15:46] — About 39 thousand emergency response workers and 2,3 thousand units of equipment will be on duty during the elections, the press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said.

[20 April, 14:04] — Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, reiterated in his statement inn advance of Sunday’s election that “the U.S. is here [in Ukraine] for the long haul” and will “support a peaceful, strong, democratic, prosperous, secure, Ukraine that sees its borders and territories, including Crimea, fully restored.”

[20 April, 12:53] — Police have launched an investigation on instances of voters' bribery in the district of Vasylkiv in Kyiv Oblast. The case was opened after the recent broadcast of a TV programme that delivered the story.

[20 April, 12:10] — According to "Chesno" civic movement both presidential candidates are resorting to hidden campaigning during the day of silence. The watchdog admits, however, that formally there is no breach of law since instances of campaigning do not contain any names or photos of candidates.

[20 April, 11:00] — Famous Ukrainians called on their fellow citizens not to ignore the second round of elections and cast their votes irrespective of whom from among the two presidential candidates they support. These famous figures particularly included seasoned politicians, like Ukraine's first president Leonid Kravchuk, renowned Ukrainian writers, including Oksana Zabuzhko and Andriy Liubka, as well as well-known media figures, like Serhiy Prytula.

[20 April, 8:55] — Today, on the last day before the second round of presidential elections, is the so-called day of silence. All campaigning is prohibited on this day.

[19 April, 21:03] — Poroshenko came to debates on Suspilne which are happening right now. Zelensky did not.

[19 April, 20:03] — Poroshenko invited Zelenskiy to continue debates on Ukraine's public broadcaster.

[19 April, 20:02] — Debates are over, concluded by the Ukrainian anthem.

[19 April, 19:57] — Olimpiyskyi stadium is magnificent.

[19 April, 19:47] — Both Poroshenko and Zelenskiy stood on their knees after Zelenskiy said he is ready to stay on his knees before Ukrainian people and all women who lost their children in Donbas war.

[19 April, 19:40] — actually, our friends who are on the stadium say that supporters of Poroshenko are way louder, but you can't hear them on TV very well, as all the mics are near Zelenskiy stage.

[19 April, 19:34] — Zelenskiy underlined he expects to be President for one term only, but he hopes that in five years there will be noone from Poroshenko's surroundings in politics.

[19 April, 19:33] — Poroshenko is very emotional, pathetic and loud. Meanwhile, Zelenskiy is ironic, calm and cynical. Public on a stadium seems to react way louder to what Zelenskiy is saying, and that makes Poroshenko stumble sometimes.

[19 April, 19:27] — Zelenskiy tactics is to talk with mems, short paradoxes, questions to Poroshenko. He only asks, but does not reply to questions of Poroshenko.

[19 April, 19:22] — Poroshenko stressed that Putin is guilty for Illovaysk and Debaltseve. He also said Ukraine rebuilt army when Zelensky was hiding.

[19 April, 19:19] — Zelenskiy reads out questions to Poroshenko from a sheet of paper. Apparently, these were the questions from people he ask for on Facebook.

[19 April, 19:18] — Poroshenko accused Zelensky of hiding from voters, so the country does not know what he will do in a country at war, said Zelenskiy should have started his activities 4 years ago, hinted Zelensky was hiding from war and army consription.

[19 April, 19:12] — Poroshenko started his intorductory words.

[19 April, 19:11] — Zelenskiy: I am not a politician, I am an ordinary man. I came to break the system. I am the result of Poroshenko's mistakes.

[19 April, 19:06] — Zelenskiy underlines he voted for Poroshenko in 2014, but "that was a mistake."

[19 April, 19:02] — From the early seconds of the debates Zelenskiy tries to underline that Poroshenko divides Ukrainians, and he will unite them. Poroshenko joined Zelenskiy at his stage.

[19 April, 18:33] — Olimpiyskyi stadium is ready for the debates, while the supporters of both candidates are gathering inside (photo was published in Petro Poroshenko's official Telegram channel):

[19 April, 15:35] — The U.S. and the EU will continue to support Ukraine regardless of who wins the presidential elections. The U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli pledged their support during today’s meeting with ENEMO monitors ahead of the second round.

[19 April, 14:05] — Zelenskiy and Poroshenko have spent about 147 million UAH on their pre-election campaigns. From 7 to 13 April, Poroshenko has invested almost 97 million UAH, while Zelenskiy — 50,4 million UAH. Notably, Poroshenko used his own money, whereas Zelenskiy attracted funds of his polilical party.

[18 April, 11:03] — Zelenskiy did as he promised and announced his team on 18 April. Hromadske has listed the people on his team:

  • Ruslan Stefanchuk - ideologue responsible for reforming state and legal institutions;
  • Ivan Bakanov - head of the “Servant of the People” party responsible for relations with Verkhovna Rada;
  • Dmytro Razumkov - domestic policy;
  • Oleksandr Danyliuk - international relations, economics, financial and banking policies;
  • Ruslan Ryaboshapka - law enforcement and anti-corruption policy;
  • Halyna Yanchenko - anti-corruption policy expert and digital solutions for the state;
  • Denys Monastyrsky - law enforcement agencies;
  • Serhiy Ionushas - judiciary;
  • Ivan Aparshyn - security and defense expert;
  • Iryna Venediktova - reform of the judicial system;
  • Serhiy Babak - education and science;
  • Maryna Bardina - equal rights and opportunities for women and men;
  • Oleh Bondarenko - environmental policy;
  • Andriy Herus - energy, housing and communal services and antimonopoly regulation;
  • Danylo Hetmantsev - economics, finance and taxation;
  • Yevhen Komarovskyi - medicine;
  • Serhiy Kalchenko - expert on the electoral legislation of European standards in matters of human rights;
  • Oleksandr Merezhko - international relations and democracy;
  • Viktoria Strakhova - banking;
  • Mykhailo Fedorov - head of the digital sphere of the “Ze! team.”

[17 April, 18:31] — Zelenskiy gave a big interview to RBK-Ukrayina. Here are key opinions Zelenskiy voiced during this conversation:

  • Russian information war against Ukraine is ongoing, but it went to a new stage. However, Ukraine should not ban all Russian artists from entering, as some of them are big supporters of Ukraine;
  • Government should not meddle with mass media and cultural life of Ukraine;
  • Ban of Russian social networks is senseless as far as there is no alternative;
  • The biggest problem of the government is that it does not explains its actions to the people, does not listen to the feedback of the people;
  • Ukrainian language quotas for TV and radio will remain. However, the government should rather ;
  • If he won, he would keep using social networks to communicate with the people;
  • He did not appear on public on purpose so that any such appearance would be meaningful;
  • He prefers not to talk about religion and language, as these are two topics which divide Ukrainian society;
  • Impeachment procedure is necessary;
  • Elections to the Verkhovna Rada might happen earlier than in October;
  • If he became President, he might move the Presidential Administration from Bankova Street to some kind of open space;
  • "Sluha Narody" party would not side neither with Opposition Bloc nor with Petro Poroshenko Bloc. However, Zelenskiy prefered not to speak about any political unions yet;
  • He only speaks with Kolomoyskiy about business and via phone;
  • Vladimir Putin is his enemy;
  • There should be no special status of Donbas;
  • There should be "Las Vegas" in Ukraine where prostitution, narcotics and gambling are legal.

[17 April, 18:31] — On April 21, Ukraine will have the second round of its presidential election. And it looks like the Kremlin’s media have decided which candidate to support. We analyzed and verified the narratives most frequently disseminated by Kremlin-linked media in April in the lead-up to the second round of the presidential election in our article for Disinfo Portal.

[17 April, 15:54]"With days remaining before Ukraine’s vote, whoever wins the presidency will inherit a dangerous amount of power over the country’s information space," Nina Jankowicz writes in her article for The Atlantic. Indeed, Ukraine's elections have become the latest battle in the information war Russia wages against the West. And Ukraine is on its frontline.

[17 April, 13:44] — Zelenskiy team announced a few new details about the Friday debates. Dmytro Razumkov, the speaker of Zelenskiy team, said on air at 112 Ukraine TV channel that there will be two stages on each side of the stadium. Razumkov does not think that the debates will have any influence on the support of the candidates. Meanwhile, Zelenskiy has announced the availability of tickets for presidential debates in his new video. The tickets are free, but only two tickets per person are available. Zelenskiy says the debates will start at 19:00 Kyiv time. Poroshenko has also started rallying his supporters.

[16 April, 17:44] — Ruslan Kermach, an associate expert at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, gives five reasons Zelenskiy is likely to win the second ballot:

  • the margin of victory of the first-round winner Volodymyr Zelenskiy (30.24%) over his rival Petro Poroshenko (15.95%) is quite noticeable – more than 14% – and can hardly be bridged in the remaining few days before the final voting on 21 April;
  • Zelenskiy, according to the pre-election opinion polls, was consistently in the lead in the rating of the “second choice” candidates for Ukrainian voters;
  • the very logic of Ukrainians’ voting in the second round rather “against” a certain candidate than “for” somebody might play in favor of Zelenskiy;
  • Zelenskiy has a significantly more uniform geography of electoral support;
  • the latest post-election public opinion poll clearly shows the continuing and even somewhat increasing lead of Zelenskiy over his main contender Petro Poroshenko

[16 April, 17:14] — Zelenskiy and Poroshenko signed a trilateral deal with Olimpiyskyi stadium. The debates will take place on the evening of 19 April — the exact time is yet to be announced.

[16 April, 16:34] — Oleksandr Danyliuk, Ukraine's finance minister in 2016-2018 and advisor to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Zelenskiy team would not include today's officials from the Presidential Administration and the Cabinet of Ministers if he won the election.

[16 April, 14:18] — according to the newest poll by KIIS, Volodymyr Zelenskiy has strengthened his lead over Petro Poroshenko. 72,2% of those who have decided on their candidate and will vote are going to support Zelenskiy, 25,4% — Poroshenko.

[15 April, 17:39] — Andriy Kozhemiakin, a member of the Batkivschyna parliamentary faction and the chairman of the parliamentary committee on legislative support of law enforcement activities, said on 10 April the information had been spread in the Verkhovna Rada about the possibility of holding early parliamentary elections in July. Petro Poroshenko replied to this today saying that possible early parliamentary elections would entail a protracted political crisis, which would affect the national economy. "Hints of early and, by the way, illegal, dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada in case of a change of president have already been voiced. This would mean a political crisis, a long pause in relations with partners; it would question our ability to overcome peak debt burdens in May and September and in 2020," Poroshenko said.

[15 April, 17:10] — Ukraine's National Police will investigate two separate cases of so-called “black PR” ads being used against two presidential candidates, incumbent Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

[15 April, 14:59] — Volodymyr Zelenskiy published a new video addressed to Petro Poroshenko. He urged the incumbent President to put behind bars the murderers of Kateryna Gandziuk, a civil activist, and those involved in embezzlement at Ukroboronprom. Zelenskiy also argued that Poroshenko has forgotten about captive Ukrainian sailors during his electoral campaign. He also reminded Poroshenko about the debates which "will take place on 19 April." "A showman could become a president, but when a president becomes a showman, that's a pity," Zelenskiy concluded.

[12 April, 17:44] — During her meeting with Petro Poroshenko, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the first round of Ukrainian presidential elections had been fair and transparent. She also said that Germany was ready to work with whoever becomes the next president of Ukraine.

[12 April, 15:30] — In a recently published video, Yulia Tymoshenko, who had run for presidency during the pending elections and took the third place, expressed her frustration at how the office of Ukraine's president had been disgraced during the last night's live broadcast of the "Pravo na Vladu" talk-show. "I witnessed dismantlement of the President's office's status. I witnessed humiliation of the Ukrainian state," Tymoshenko said.

[12 April, 12:01] — Ukraine’s interior minister Arsen Avakov believes that, by conducting the first round of presidential elections, Ukraine has coped with key challenges. As he added, Ukraine’s authorities are able to ensure smooth process of transfer of power.

[12 April, 10:47] — last evening Petro Poroshenko unexpectedly came to the studio of 1+1 TV channel to join the "Pravo na Vladu" talk-show. On air, he challenged Zelenskiy (who is currently in Paris) via a phone call to join him in the debates now and on 14 April at Olimiyskyi stadium. Zelenskiy replied that he will only debate with Poroshenko on 19 April at the stadium, thus ignoring the law. Overall, Zelenskiy was very rude, kept interrupting Poroshenko and hang up on him in the middle of the sentence. 1+1 said it will sue Poroshenko "for rushing in the air of the channel."

[11 April, 19:01] — During Kyiv Security Forum, Ukraine's justice minister Pavlo Petrenko said that almost 100 thousand Ukrainians have already changed their place of vote to make their choice during the second round of the presidential elections, UkraineWorld Twitter emphasizes.

[11 April, 18:32] — Former presidential candidate Anatoliy Hrytsenko said during Kyiv Security Forum he has no doubts that Volodymyr Zelenskiy will become Ukraine's next president, UkraineWorld Twitter says.

[11 April, 17:50]According to Anton Grushetskyi, deputy head at the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, Zelenskiy's current rating, exceeding, as displayed by recent surveys, that of Poroshenko by 40%, is most probably going to be confirmed during the second round of presidential elections.

[11 April, 17:19]Representatives of both Poroshenko's and Zelenskiy's election offices have met at the Olimpiyskyi stadium to discuss forthcoming debates but have reportedly failed to agree on their terms. The meeting was closed and lasted for approximately 20 minutes.

[11 April, 16:00] — Dmytro Razumkov, representative of Volodymyr Zelenskiy's election office, told BBC that Zelenskiy and his team were not going to negotiate with self-proclaimed authorities in Russia-controlled territories in the East of Ukraine. According to Razumkov, it only makes sense to negotiate with those who have the power to adopt decisions, namely with Russia, whereas leaders of the uncrecognized Russia-backed entities are nothing more than just "talking heads."

[11 April, 13:55]New polls conducted by Rating sociological group on 5-10 April show that in the 2nd round of presidential elections Volodymyr Zelenskiy may count for 71% of support of those who intend to vote and have already decided on their choice. Zelenskiy’s key rival in the run-off vote – current President Petro Poroshenko – would get 29% of votes.

[11 April, 12:35]Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s election office suggests holding debates with current President Petro Poroshenko via telebridge. According to Ivan Bakanov, the head of Zelenskiy’s main office, such a step is necessary to avoid possible accusations that the comedian is trying to escape the debates.

[10 April, 16:20] — According to a survey conducted by VTsIOM in April, 39% of Russians said they were closely following the Ukrainian presidential election, compared to only 28% in 2014. Additionally, Russians appear to swing towards Zelensky(31 percent of VTsIOM respondents) rather than Poroshenko (1 percent), explaining their sympathy for the newcomer as representing the prospect of fresh blood to the perceived stalemate in Ukraine’s state of affairs, and with that a better future for Ukraine.

[10 April, 14:07] — Poroshenko and Zelenskiy teams clash once again. Poroshenko's campaign posters for the second round suggest it’s a choice between him and Putin:

In response, Zelenskiy has published a video with the main idea that Ukrainians vere artificially divided, and the second round is a choice between an old era and a new one:

[10 April, 13:52]Liga.net has published an overview of 10 first steps Zelenskiy would take if he became president based on an interview with his advisors. Zelenskiy team mostly focuses on the issues of war, corruption and economy:

  • Invite Britain and the US to join Normany Format;
  • Stop rivalry between Ukraine's Ministry of Defence and General Staff of the Armed Forces;
  • Appoint honest judges to the High Anti-Corruption Court;
  • Submit a law proposal on mediation to the Verkhovna Rada;
  • Submit a bloc of economy-related law proposals to the Verkhovna Rada — on 5% tax amnesty, capital gains tax and financial investigations service;
  • Offer candidates for the Ministrer of Defence, Ministrer of Foreign Affairs, the heads of the Security Service of Ukraine and Prosecution General of Ukraine;
  • Submit a bloc of referendum-related laws to the Verkhovna Rada to clarify the procedure for nation-wide and local referendums and make petitions legally binding;
  • Launch a state-wide audit;
  • Develop cooperation with the Verkhovna Rada;
  • Reform the Presidential Administration.

[9 April, 18:16]"The ability to recover from national crises is plugged into Ukraine’s DNA," writes Peter Dickinson in his article for Atlantic Council. He underlines that for a country that has witnessed decades of chronic political instability topped by two post-Soviet revolutions and a five-year war with a global superpower, electing a clown as president is hardly the end of the world. That's why so many Ukrainians are willing to risk it voting for Zelenskiy.

[9 April, 16:40] — Zurab Alasania, CEO of Suspilne, Ukraine's public broadcaster, said that roughly6 million UAH (225 thousand USD) are allocated to hold presidential debates in the studio of Suspilne on 19 April. He also underlined that the debates will take place in any case, even if the candidates do not come.

[9 April, 10:55] — Zelenskiy team stressed their candidate will not undergo any other medical tests. "Analyses were submitted according to the law and procedure. If there are any doubts, you should better check with law enforcement agencies," representative of Zelenskiy team said.

[8 April, 17:18] — While Zelenskiy and Poroshenko challenge each other, human rights problems go below the radar. Did any of the top-5 candidates campaign for human rights at all? We analysed their programs to find out:

[8 April, 17:10]Zelenskiy is “not serious enough” to be president of Ukraine, according to Melinda Haring, the editor of Atlantic Council’s UkraineAlert blog. "Playing the president is very different than being the real president. He has no foreign policy experience, Ukraine is at war, he’s named no serious foreign policy advisors," she said.

[8 April, 12:35] — Zelenskiy published a new video on his personal Facebook page. He ignored Poroshenko's suggestion to hold debates on 14 April, urged his followers propose questions he could ask Petro Poroshenko at the Olimpiyskyi stadium on 19 April.

[8 April, 11:31] — things escalated quickly over the weekend: Poroshenko invited Zelenskiy to debate at the Olimpiyskyi stadium on 14 April. Poroshenko underlined that he invites the audience and all the channels for the debate to be held as Zelensky wanted in order not to let him retreat from his suggestion.

[5 April, 17:36] — Zelenskiy has published the results of his analysis on Facebook. However, he first published analysis results which were dated 2 April, Ukrayinska Pravdanoticed. 10 minutes later, the post has been updated with the same analysis results dated 5 April.

[5 April, 17:07] — Zelenskiy explained origins of his undeclared villa in Italy. His company merely invested funds in real estate, as "Ukrainian banking system is not perfect."

[5 April, 12:01]Chesno civic movement urged Zelenskiy to submit his electronic declaration of assets for 2018 to prove his readiness to be honest and transparent.

[5 April, 11:55] — Dmytro Razumkov, an advisor of Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said the debates will be held on 19 April. He added the conditions regarding the debate, which Zelensky had previously voiced, remain in force.

[5 April, 11:06] — Zelenskiy passed a medical test in a private lab Eurolab. Earlier he put medical test as a condition for debates. Poroshenko came to Olimpiyskyi stadium to pass a medical test. Every day something unexpected. Good that it's unpredictable. Bad that it's a show.

[5 April, 10:57] — Netflix series "Ukrainian elections" continue. Today morning a new video from Poroshenko came out in response to yesterday's video from Zelenskiy. Poroshenko urges his opponent "to meet eye to eye," "to be a man," "not to look for excuses." He also reconfirmed he is ready for a debate with Zelenskiy on a stadium.

[4 April, 19:45] — New video from Zelenskiy. He proposed Yulia Tymoshenko to be a moderator for the upcoming debates.

[4 April, 17:32]73,5% of Ukrainians think there should be debates between two candidates before the second round, a study by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation shows. 44% think the debates should happen in any case, 30% — that they would like to see them. Only 18% said there is no need in debates. If debates happened, 42% would watch them in any case, and 32% would watch them if there were meaningful topics raised.

[4 April, 15:40] — Poroshenko responded to another demand of Zelenskiy team — he is ready to take a drug test together with Zelenskiy. Also, he is ready to pay his half of the stadium rent.

[4 April, 13:22] — Zelenskiy team responded to Poroshenko agreeing to debate at "Olympiiskyi" stadium, said it is still early to talk about the date of the debates, as not all their demands were met by Poroshenko.

[4 April, 13:12]Suspilne, Ukraine's public broadcaster, launched negotiations with Poroshenko, Zelenskiy and "Olympiiskyi" to hold debates at the stadium.

[4 April, 12:08] — Yevhen Radchenko, deputy head of Ukraine's Central Electoral Commission, said that debates at "Olympiiskyi" stadium will be treated as campaigning and therefore should be paid for by the candidates themselves. Radchenko underlined that Article 62 of the Law "On Presidential Elections" settles the procedure: the debates should be held in the studio of the public broadcaster — only then they can be paid for by the state. At the same time, the debates Zelenskiy and Poroshenko are talking about are regulated by Article 58 of the Law "On Presidential Elections" which foresees public debates as part of electoral campaigns, Radchenko argued.

[4 April, 11:19] — yesterday Volodymyr Zelenskiy published a video saying he'll debate with Petro Poroshenko if his conditions were met:

  • debated at "Olympiiskyi" stadium;
  • live broadcast on all channels, all journos can come;
  • candidates have to pass a drug test;
  • Poroshenko has to apologise for calling Zelenskiy a puppet of Kremlin and/or Kolomoyskiy etc.;
  • Poroshenko has 24 hours to decide.

Overall, the video gives a strong Frank Underwood vibe.

Poroshenko responded in 9 hours:

  • he is ready for debates at the stadium;
  • urged that debates are not a show, being president is not a game;
  • spoke a lot about Ukraine's European course — it should be irreversible.

Overall, the video resembles very much a traditional address to the nation.

[3 April, 17:13]Ukrayinska Pravda analysed why Yulia Tymoshenko has lost her third presidential campaign in a row. Here are key ideas:

  • Tymoshenko started her electoral campaign in June 2018, and that was too long before the elections. Her rating started going down in December 2018;
  • She changed her image too quickly to win younger electorate and did not work enough with her core audience — pensioners, people in small towns and villages. In the end, younger people went for Zelenskiy instead;
  • Tymoshenko has locked all the processes in her team on herself, she did not trust her staff;
  • She considered Poroshenko her main enemy and did not work against Zelenskiy;
  • Overall, her electoral campaign was very chaotic and did not fall in coherent line.

[3 April, 15:04] — Volodymyr Zelenskiy won the 1st round of Ukraine’s presidential election and has a strong chance of winning the run-off on April 21. We analysed what his success means for Ukraine.

[3 April, 11:59] — Opposition Bloc (its candidate Oleksandr Vilkul has gained 4,15% of votes) stated its electorate should support neither Poroshenko nor Zelenskiy in the second round. *"First round has shown that Ukrainian society still falls for populism and revolution-related emotions. So here is the result: supporters of peace and economic

UkraineWorld editorial team

Related articles

Ukraine Explained
September 26, 2018

Serhiy Taruta: Yet Another Champion of “Painful Compromises”

At the end of 2016, Victor Pinchuk—one of Ukraine’s wealthiest oligarchs and sponsor of the recent YES 2018 conference—published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal...
VIDEO
March 28, 2019

Ukraine's 2019 Presidential Elections Explained

Here are key things you need to know about the upcoming presidential elections. The first round will already take place on 31 March.