Ukraine's 73.21% believe in Zelensky
Ukraine’s presidential runoff took place on April 21. With 99% of the vote counted, leader of the Servant of the People political party Vladimir Zelensky has received 73.21%, while incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko gained 24.46%, according to Ukraine's Central Election Commission.
Thus, Zelensky was supported by 13.4 million people in the country, while Poroshenko - by only 4.4 million people.
In accordance with the Ukrainian law, the Central Election Commission must publish the official election results no later than ten days after the election day, that is, before May 1, 2019.
The presidential inauguration is expected to take place no later than May 31.
A member of two Councils under the President of the Russian Federation - for Civil Society and Human Rights and for Interethnic Relations, Alexander Brod, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that we shouldn't expect a sharp change in Kiev's foreign policy course under Zelensky. "Zelensky and his team will not start a conflict with the de facto governors of Ukraine. Perhaps there will be some thawing of relations with Russia, since the expected limitation of supplies of Russian oil products and refusal to buy Ukrainian products are causing very serious tensions in Ukraine," he said.
"If failures continue in attempts to integrate with the European Union, then protest actions will resume. In general, the situation is unpredictable so far, and I wouldn’t say that the course for a dramatic improvement is visible. Ukraine is at a crossroads and everything will depend on the country's leadership," Aleksndr Brod stressed.
Commenting on Zelensky's landslide victory, the member of the Councils for Civil Society and Human Rights explained it with a protest vote of Ukrainian citizens. "The former government worked on its own pocket, destroyed the economy and social sphere, causing the impoverishment of millions of Ukrainian citizens, forcing them to emigrate either to Russia or Western Europe. Poroshenko’s regime became hostile for the population of Ukraine, and some young man appeared against this background. The society voted for him - unfortunately, there was no other choice," he stated.
Member of the Russian Presidential Council on Interethnic Relations Bogdan Bezpalko noted that such a result of the election was expected. “The first round was unexpected when the gap was so big. After that, it became obvious that Zelensky would win in the runoff. Vladimir Zelensky was a request from Ukrainian citizens for a change of power, for Poroshenko’s dismissal, because lives of Ukrainian citizens have deteriorated sharply over the past five years: mass migration, declining living standards, high unemployment and the destruction of the industry," he said.
"Poroshenko was well supported in the western regions of Ukraine, but even there Zelensky won in most areas, except Lvov. It is important to emphasize that there are no ideological differences between Poroshenko and Zelensky. Both support the movement towards the EU and NATO. Both call Vladimir Putin and Russia enemies, both of them want to incorporate Donbass and Crimea back to Ukraine. In this situation, a resident of Western Ukraine, who is unhappy with Poroshenko, could reasonably vote for Zelensky, because he saw him as a follower of the ideology, which is the most important for him," Bogdan Bezpalko stressed.
"In the best case, we can expect that Zelensky will release a number of prisoners, such as Yevgeny Mefedov, Sergey Dolzhenkov, Alexey Sedikov and Denis Sidorov, will punish the killers of Valery Ivanov. Maybe he will close the Mirotvorets website, will allow politicians, public figures, actors and ordinary people from Russia to enter Ukraine, but still there will be no significant changes," the expert concluded.