Ukrainians voted for CHANGE from Poroshenko – but do Zelensky’s oligarch backers support that?


MOSCOW – Preliminary results from the Ukrainian presidential election show that the country’s citizens voted in favor of the changes, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigori Karasin.

“Research shows that citizens of Ukraine voted for the changes, now the country’s new authorities must understand and realize the hopes of their constituents,” Karasin said.

He pointed out that “it refers to both the domestic and foreign policies of the country.”

After the second round on Sunday, polling research indicates that comedian Volodymyr Zelensky beat the current president Pyotr Poroshenko with 73.2% of the vote.

The comedian and rookie in politics Volodymyr Zelensky won the presidential elections in Ukraine. The candidate received 73.2% of the vote in the second round of the election, against the 25.3% of the country’s current president, Pyotr Poroshenko, according to partial results.

“We did this together,” Zelensky said after the results were released, which show his victory. “I promise I will never disappoint you,” he said, addressing the Ukrainian people.

After the announcement, the winner of the election did not want to talk to the journalists and left the campaign headquarters.

More detailed reports show that in western Ukraine Zelenskiy won about 56.4% of the local votes, while in the eastern parts of the country he received about 88% of the total votes.

39 candidates participated in the presidential race. Zelensky, Poroshenko and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko were the favorites.

The current president of Ukraine, Pyotr Poroshenko, was received with applause when he arrived on his campaign committee. He stated that despite not being re-elected, he did not intend to leave politics. The politician acknowledged the results and promised to call Zelensky to convey his congratulations to the victory.

Poroshenko then also promised to keep working towards Kiev being closer with the European Union and NATO – it is not known what position Zelensky will adopt.

For what its worth, Kolomoisky was a significant backer of Zelensky, who also owns the TV network which promoted his image, and so this much of the equation is already understood. Segments of Ukraine’s oligarchy are displeased with the general lack of progress made in the aims to reap financial rewards from the EU, the openly stated disinterest of the EU to integrate Ukraine, and the U.S reluctance to incorporate Ukraine into NATO – a ‘red line’ for Russia which Trump, to date, has appeared to respect. 
Moreover, Zelensky was also supported by the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, whom vacillated between supporting DPR militias as well.  Rinat Akhmetov was known for playing both sides during the Donbass conflict. Initially on the side of the pro NATO oligarchs, he established a neutral role and worked towards ‘moderating’ the socialist and communist elements of the Donbass rebels. Many fighters and citizens alike believe that Rinat Akhmetov  was chiefly responsible for any number of betrayals during the Donbass socialist revolution several years ago.

Akhmetov and Kolomoisky are decidedly uncharismatic characters, unlike Poroshenko who can wear both hats. Zelensky is their avatar, their puppet, and therefore any analysis of what is to come will depend on a sober assessment of where this wing of Ukraine’s oligarchy wants to take its relationship with Russia, Europe, and the U.S.

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