// Russia and New States of Eurasia. 2019. No II (ÕLIII). P. 9-29
On March 31, 2019 the first round of presidential elections was held in Ukraine. 39 candidates participated in the elections. Among them there were incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, popular showman and actor Vladimir Zelensky, the leader of the “Bat’kivshchyna” (“Fatherland”) political party Yulia Tymoshenko, representatives of the so-called pro-Russian opposition Yuriy Boyko and Aleksandr Vilkul, Ukrainian nationalists Oleh Lyashko and Ruslan Koshulynskyi, etc. Zelensky came first (30.2% of the votes), Poroshenko was second (16%). In the second round of elections held on April 21, Zelensky won a convincing victory with 73.2% of the votes. The low level of support for Poroshenko is explained by the difficult economic situation in Ukraine, the war unleashed by him in Donbass, the Ukrainization of education and culture and his anti-Russian political course in general. His rival gained great popularity in Ukraine due to the fact that he played the role of the President of Ukraine in the television series “Servant of the People”. Zelensky was a personification of protest against Poroshenko’s policies, the embodiment of Ukrainian society’s demand for a new political leader. The showman was supported by the South-East of Ukraine, as he promised to put an end to the conflict in Donbass and stop persecution of the Russian language. Zelensky is a politician of more moderate views than Poroshenko, so it can be expected that during his administration there will be some improve-ment of Russian-Ukrainian relations.
Ukraine, the 2019 presidential elections, Vladimir Zelensky, Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian nationalism, Ukrainization, conflict in the South-East of Ukraine
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