Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Ukraine / Russia Ad Hoc Media Update (133) – Election Update


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

I have removed many misspellings of the word Donbas, prevalent in the Soviet, oops, Russian press.

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The outcome of Ukrainian election counts is that the 21st April runoff will be fought by Zelenskiy and Poroshenko – over half of the voters in the first round voted for candidates other than the first two, so how they vote in the second round will determine who becomes the next president. International observers reporting a clean election, Interior Minister confirms few incidents. Tally has just been completed. Both Zelenskiy and Poroshenko are ramping up language for the second round. Interesting that voting results fit closely polling results and have mostly been consistent across the country, only diaspora votes have differed markedly. Some bizarre comments from Muscovy on the election.

Other developments: Russian propaganda TV proposing to fly BLACKJACKs to 60 miles off Manhattan. 2nd BW flies EX near Norway and Muscovy gets very excited complaining about ALCMs – classic Russian exceptionalism, practicing Kh-55SM launches is perfectly acceptable.

Kramp-Karrenbauer hits EU parties collaborating in Russia’s destabilization campaign. NYT on Russia’s Afrika-Korps. Slezkine on Russia ignoring its past. Thirteen bizarre Russia reports.

Crimea and Donbas updates – RPV footage of vehicle kill in Donbas, SA-22 photographed in Donbas.

More on religious persecution in Russia.


Russian state TV’s delusional call to send nuclear bombers 60 miles off Manhattan

The host of Russian state TV’s main prime-time political show, “60 Minutes,” this week suggested Russia deploy nuclear-capable Tu-160 bombers 60 miles off the coast from New York City.

Russia claims U.S. B-52 bombers simulated strike against Moscow – Defence Blog

Russian military sources claim that five U.S. Air Force’s B-52H Stratofortress bombers conducted a mock nuclear strike against targets in Russia, include Moskov and St. Saint Petersburg during training flights on 28 March. The training flight of U.S. B-52H bombers with Norwegian F-16 fighter jets over the Norwegian Sea was one of the examples of dummy cruise missile attacks outside the detection zone by air-defense radars, as well as outside the combat radius of MiG-31supersonic interceptor aircraft, the source indicated. The H model of B-52 bombers can carry up to 20 air-launched cruise missiles, as an AGM-158A/B JASSM/-ER и AGM-86С, D. The B-52 cannot penetrate adversary air defenses, but cruise missiles with long-range able to penetrate emerging high-tech air defenses. Russian officials, including the defense ministry, have expressed concerns of B-52 flight near country’s border. NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in February said the alliance “have wide range of options – conventional and other options” to deal with what NATO calls a “Russian violation” of the INF-treaty. Stoltenberg did not mention the American B-52 bombers, but the planes are indeed one way for NATO to show Moscow that nuclear weapons can be brought closer to the Russian border. The Pentagon has announced that during training with NATO allies like Norway enhances the capabilities and readiness of the alliance. The flights also allowed aircrews to conduct theater familiarization and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces. U.S. Strategic Command regularly tests and evaluates the readiness of strategic assets to ensure we are able to honor our security commitments. The B-52s, part of the Bomber Task Force currently deployed to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility, are from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The aircraft arrived in theater on March 14-15 and are temporarily operating out of RAF Fairford.

 

 

US nuclear-capable bombers fly training mission near Russia | Fox News

U.S. Air Force nuclear-capable bombers flew a training mission near Scandinavia, sending a clear message to Moscow. Five B-52 bombers flew over the Norwegian Sea Thursday, according to a statement from U.S. Air Force Europe, in a training flight reminiscent of those from the Cold War. “The flights also allowed aircrews to conduct theater familiarization and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces. U.S. Strategic Command regularly tests and evaluates the readiness of strategic assets to ensure we are able to honor our security commitments,” the statement said.

B-52 Stratofortress bombers return to UK looking just like the US planes from World War Two | Daily Mail Online

A fleet of US B-52s has returned to RAF Fairford after a mission to Norway. The six bombers and 400 personnel is the largest bomber deployment since the Iraq War and is part of a show of military strength. This is the incredible moment a fleet of B-52 Stratofortress bombers returned to the UK after an exercise in Norway, bringing back memories of the US bomber trails from WWII. The planes came to the UK in the largest US bomber deployment since the Iraq War and landed at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. Six bombers, which carry nuclear weapons and precision-guided munitions, and 400 personnel arrived as a visual display of the US’s commitment to NATO amid rising tensions with Russia. They returned to RAF Fairford after flying over Norway and stunning photos of them in flight recall similar scenes of US bombers from WWII. Then, the B-17 Flying Fortress was employed in a bombing campaign of German targets and many planes were based at UK airfields. B-52s have been a mainstay of the United States military for decades and are expected to remain in active service until beyond 2050.

Why NATO Absolutely Can’t Stand Russia’s Su-27 Fighter | The National Interest

Kaliningrad’s Flankers range across the Baltic.

The leader of the CDU announced Russia’s attempts to destabilize the EU

The Russian authorities are doing a lot to weaken the European Union, the CDU chairman said. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer criticized populist parties enjoying the support of Moscow.

Russia trying to weaken EU Member States, closest neighbors – Germany’s CDU head – news world | UNIAN

Russian authorities are doing a lot to “weaken, destabilize the EU countries and its closest neighbors,” that’s according to the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and, possibly, future German Chancellor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Kramp-Karrenbauer has criticized European populist parties receiving support from Moscow.

Russia’s Military Mission Creep Advances to a New Front: Africa – The New York Times

In an influence campaign that is worrying the Pentagon, Russia’s weapons sales, military training programs and security agreements are growing across Africa.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russia Can’t Escape Communist Past and Thus Must Understand Its Special ‘Sectarian’ Nature, Slezkine Says

Paul Goble Staunton, March 30 – Unlike other post-communist countries, Russia faces a dilemma because it can’t blame communism on foreign forces, Yuri Slezkine of the University of California, Berkeley, says. Instead, it must face up to the domestic roots of the Soviet tragedy and especially now understand its “sectarian” nature. Slezkine makes those comments in interview with Mikhail Sokolov of Radio Svoboda on the occasion of the release of the Russian edition of his book, The House of Government (originally in English at Princeton UP, 2017), about the residents of the Moscow apartment complex that Yuri Lyubimov immortalized in his novel (svoboda.org/a/29847345.html). Bolshevism, Slezkine says, “cannot be tossed out of Russian history;” instead, it must be understood as a millenarian sect consisting initially of people who believed in an apocalyptic transformation of the world and then degenerated for various reasons into a ruling group with all the problems that ultimately led to their overthrow. Some see the regime of Vladimir Putin as seeking to return Russia to the Soviet past, but Slezkine argues there is one major difference: the Bolsheviks acted in the name of a goal; Putin doesn’t. “Putinism, of course, is a very interesting phenomenon,” the historian says; “but this is authoritarianism without a goal.” There are a large number of authoritarian regimes, he continues; there are even a large number which have a special role for an authoritarian leader. “But there are not very many regimes of the Bolshevik or Stalinist type,” regimes based on a kind of theocratic faith that existed among the Old Bolsheviks but does not exist now. That distinction means, Slezkine argues, that despite the trappings of Stalinism, despite the revival of the security organs, the Putin regime is not Stalinist or Bolshevik in the most fundamental sense. It is authoritarian; it does commit crimes against the population and Russia’s neighbors. But that isn’t enough to call it Bolshevik or Stalinist. “It does not seem to me,” the historian says, “that Russia can fail to reject the heavy inheritance of force from the past, but at the same time, “it does seem to me that It cannot denounce it as absolute evil. One can’t take communists out of the history of the Great Fatherland war, for example.” “This war,” he continues, “will remain one of the most important events in Russian history and will remain such in Russia for a long time to come.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series: A Baker’s Dozen of Russian Stories Too Strange Not to Be True

Paul Goble Staunton, March 31 – This past week, as it seems every week, has featured numerous stories from Russia that are definitely in the too strange not to be true category. Below are 13 of the most interesting and at least in some ways potentially instructive about Russia today:

  1. Siberian Teacher’s Dismissal for Swimsuit Photograph Sparks Others to Pose in Protest. A teacher in Siberia who had a photograph of herself in a remarkably modest swimsuit, prompting teachers and celebrities across Russia to post photographs of themselves in swim suits and more risqué underwear in protest (maximonline.ru/guide/maximir/_article/fleshmob-kuvshinnikova/and ura.news/articles/1036277824).
  2. Global Warming May Cost Russia Territory but Add to It as Well. As the Russian Arctic warms, some islands are disappearing but others are appearing. As of now, Russia has gained more land there than it has lost (siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/changing-face-of-the-arctic-one-significant-island-vanishes-from-the-map-but-a-dozen-appear/).
  3. Nastya Rybka Names Her Price. The young “sex trainer” whose dalliance with an oligarch and activities in Thailand attracted so much attention a few months ago has now announced her price: anyone who wants to spend a night with her must come up with 2,000 euros (2600 US dollars) (rusmonitor.com/za-2000-evro-nastya-rybka-stanet-vashejj-na-vsyu-noch-istochnik.html). Meanwhile, Snob has published a comparison of the prices of prostitution in various regions of the Russian Federation (snob.ru/entry/174160).
  4. Saami Accuse Russian Officials of Racial Discrimination. Members of the Saami nation who live astride the Norwegian-Russian border have accused Murmansk officials of racial discrimination against them (novayagazeta.ru/news/2019/03/29/150425-korennoy-narod-saami-obvinil-pravitelstvo-murmanskoy-oblasti-v-rasovoy-diskriminatsii).
  5. Krasnodar Youths Caught Pissing on Eternal Flame. Two young men in Krasnodar Kray were caught on camera extinguishing the city’s war memorial in a most unattractive way (by24.org/2019/03/30/piss_on_eternal_flame/). Other, better behaved young Russians, however, are going to find getting into university easier: 20 Russian higher educational institutions have announced they’ll give extra points in the admission process to those in Russian Youth Army (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5C9E29CF51954).
  6. KPRF, Orthodox Church in Kaliningrad Say Gnome Statues Promote Paganism. The communists and the Russian Orthodox Church in the Russian exclave have united to oppose displays of gnomes because, they both suggest, such statues promote paganism (facebook.com/SANDYMUSTACHE/posts/1465154306952097).
  7. Tula Deputy Fined for Meeting with Voters without Permission. A deputy in the Tula assembly has been fined for meeting with his own electorate without getting permission from the authorities, a violation of Russia’s law governing public meetings (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5C9A110A4110D). Meanwhile, other deputies at the regional level are showing that they are prepared to go even further in taking repressive measures than Moscow yet is: St. Petersburg deputies are calling for reviving the Soviet-era practice of forced psychiatric treatment for those who don’t fit into Russian life (facebook.com/serkova.natalya/posts/1214971411985038).
  8. Moscow Patriarchate Priests Signal What’s Important: Money and Nuclear Weapons. Patriarch Kirill’s personal spiritual advisor took the unusual step of blessing only those with money at a recent religious service (credo.press/223609/), and a new church-sponsored memorial to the developers of Russia’s first atomic bomb is shown as a priest (credo.press/223605/).
  9. Officials to Pursue Heirs for Money Owed for Trash Removal. If someone dies without having paid for trash collection, officials will now pursue his or her heirs, a step that will only further infuriate Russians already outraged at Moscow’s trash policies (mbk-news.appspot.com/region/mertvye-tozhe-dolzhny-platit/).
  10. If Rosstat Doesn’t Report It, It isn’t Happening? The Russian state statistical committee has announced that it will stop publishing monthly figures on the state of Russian incomes, likely because recent months have shown such a precipitous drop in them (finanz.ru/novosti/lichnyye-finansy/rosstat-prekrashchaet-publikaciyu-ezhemesyachnykh-dannykh-po-dokhodam-rossiyan-1028042521).
  11. Putin Pardons Far Fewer Criminals than Yeltsin Did. New figures show that Vladimir Putin has pardoned far fewer criminals than his predecessor Boris Yeltsin did, a trend fully consistent with his more repressive approach but one certain to anger many in Russia who have long seen pardons, often tied to public holidays, as something normal (newtimes.ru/articles/detail/178502).
  12. When There was a Mosque in the Kremlin. The scandalous proposal by the Turkish president to transform the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has prompted Russian historians to recall that there was once a mosque inside the precincts of Moscow’s Kremlin (moslenta.ru/istoriya/ryadom-s-krestami-na-khramakh-vidny-ochertaniya-polumesyacev.htm). In another religion-related development, Moscow officials have agreed that land held sacred by the Buryats will not be subjected to the free hectare program that republic has been part of since its transfer to the Far East Federal District (nazaccent.ru/content/29469-sakralnye-mesta-buryatii-isklyuchat-iz-zemel.html).
  13. ‘Make Russia Great Again’ Should Be Moscow’s Slogan. A Russian commentator says that Vladimir Putin should take a page out of Donald Trump’s playbook and make the Russian Federation’s slogan be “Make Russia Great Again!” (iarex.ru/articles/65273.html).

NATO members will review possibility of strengthening presence in Black Sea region – U.S. envoy

Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are reviewing the possibility of strengthening the alliances abilities in the Black Sea region, U.S.

U.S. envoy to NATO counts on Ukraine, Georgia joining alliance

Ukraine and Georgia are working closely with NATO and in Washington hope that these countries will be able to become members of the North Atlantic Alliance, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison has said.

Canadian, Spanish frigates from NATO Maritime Group arrive in Odesa – news politics | UNIAN

Canadian and Spanish frigates from the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) arrived in Odesa today, April 1. They made a port call after taking part in a patrol mission in the Black Sea area along with other warships.

NATO frigate Toronto arrives in Odesa

On the morning of April 1, the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Toronto has arrived on a friendly visit to the port of Odesa. Another NATO ship, the Spanish Navy frigate Santa Maria, is expected to arrive soon. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine-Russia Friendship Treaty expires – news politics | UNIAN

The Treaty of Friendship between Ukraine and Russia expired on April 1, 2019. The agreement provided for “respect for the territorial integrity” of the two parties.

Ukrainian soldiers destroyed Russian combat vehicle with strike drone. VIDEO

01.04.19 12:11 – Ukrainian soldiers destroyed Russian combat vehicle with strike drone. VIDEO Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas area with the help of a strike drone destroyed the combat vehicle of the Russian invaders. View video news.

Ukraine forces destroy enemy military vehicle in Donbas (Video) – news war | UNIAN

Russian occupation forces breached the ceasefire regime in Donbas once on Sunday, March 31.

Анатолий Штефан Штирлиц – Facebook (PGM Video)

 

Occupants attack residential area on eve of presidential elections in Donbas

Pro-Russian militants fired at the residential house in Zolote-4, Luhansk region

New evidence of Russia’s aggression in the Donbas – another “Pantsyr” SPAAGM found

In the social network Twitter OSINT, a researcher with a nickname Askai has published photos of the Russian anti-aircraft missile artillery complex “Pantsyr-C1” in the occupied territory of Donbas This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal The author has installed and is most likely a place of shooting of this complex. According to the given data, photographs were made in the area of ​​the village of Sitizhkivsk, Donetsk Oblast, located south of the occupied Debaltsevo. The date of shooting falls on the period of fighting on the Debaltsevsky bridgehead – in the winter of 2014-2015. Detected Russian KRAK “Pantsyr-C1” on the Donbas Photo: Twitter / Askai In one of the pictures, two militants from the Russian-terrorist forces were photographed against the backdrop of the complex: Identification of the location of the Russian KRAK “Pantsyr-C1” in the Donbas They managed to install and identify the geolocation of the shooting by identifying the building on the picture: Identification of the location “Pantsyr-C1” in the Donbas Identification of the location “Pantsyr-C1” in the Donbas These complexes have already been recorded as part of the Russian-occupying forces in the Donbas, in particular the International Volunteer Community InformNapalm has already published one of the researches on the detection of “Pantsyr-C1” in the Donbas: “Pantsyr S-1” and “Ural-43206” in Ukraine Subsequently, these complexes were registered on the territory of Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts in particular in Shahtarsk, Makeyevka and Lugansk. A detailed analysis of these complexes revealed in January-February 2015 is available in the vatahis material in LiveJournal: The newest Russian Pantsyr-C1 in the East of Ukraine

Ukraine Seizes More Than 700 Kg Of Heroin In Separate Raids

The authorities in Ukraine say they have seized heroin worth about $60 million in raids in the country’s center and west.

Runoff inevitable in Ukraine elections, CEC confirms – news politics | UNIAN

Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Yevhen Radchenko has called on leaders of the first round of presidential elections to prepare for the second one. None of the candidates will be able to secure a win in the first round, it is reported.

Результаты выборов президента Украины 2019. Подсчет голосов онлайн | Украинская правда

The Latest: Turnout in Ukraine election at nearly 64 percent

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The Latest on Ukraine’s presidential election (all times local): 11:10 p.m. Ukraine’s central elections commission says nearly 64 percent of the country’s…

Voters’ turnout made 63,45% at Ukrainian presidential elections

Presidential candidate Zelensky tells what he would say to Putin.

28.000 polling stations in Ukraine finished vote counting, – police

01.04.19 15:08 – 28.000 polling stations in Ukraine finished vote counting, – police More than 28 thousand polling stations on the territory of Ukraine completed the counting of votes. View news.

Cybersecurity of CEC information systems operated properly – commission’s head

Cybersecurity of the information systems of the Central Election Commission (CEC) operated properly during the presidential election in Ukraine, according to Commission’s Head Tetiana Slipachuk. — Ukrinform.

Interior minister Avakov: Elections held without incidents

The situation on the day of presidential elections in Ukraine on March 31 was calm. According to available information, no election campaign headquarters prepare for unrest.  — Ukrinform.

Interior minister’s advisor: Reports on violations related mostly to campaigning on election day

The police on the election day received 2,199 reports on violations during the electoral process, although they were non-systemic, according to Interior Minister’s advisor Zorian Shkiryak. — Ukrinform.

Police open over 61 criminal cases on election day – Interior Ministry

Starting from March 31, police have opened 61 criminal proceedings related to violations of the electoral law, according to the Interior Ministry. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s March 31 presidential election fair and just – CANADEM observation mission

The regular presidential election in Ukraine, taking place on March 31, was held honestly and freely, the election monitoring mission in Ukraine of the international non-governmental organization CANADEM has reported.

CANADEM observation mission: Ukraine’s March 31 presidential election were free and fair

01.04.19 14:14 – CANADEM observation mission: Ukraine’s March 31 presidential election were free and fair The regular presidential election in Ukraine, taking place on March 31, was held honestly and freely, the election monitoring mission in Ukraine of the international non-governmental organization CANADEM has reported. View news.

EU envoy: Preliminary data say first round of Ukraine election “decent” – news politics | UNIAN

Head of the European Union Delegation to Ukraine, Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, says no reports have been received so fat on any significant violations of election law following the first round of Ukraine presidential elections. At the same time, the EU is yet to see an ODIHR assessment.

Zelensky getting 30.41%, Poroshenko 16.12%, Tymoshenko 13.20% of vote – CEC, after processing ¾ of ballots

Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky is getting 30.41% and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko 16.12% of the vote after the Central Elections Commission (CEC) has processed 75.13% of the voting ballots.

OPORA’s parallel vote count: Zelensky gets 30.1%, Poroshenko has 15.7%

Volodymyr Zelensky holds the lead in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election with 30.1% of the vote, whereas Petro Poroshenko has 15.7% and Yulia Tymoshenko 13.3%, according to the results of a parallel vote count conducted by the OPORA civil network. — Ukrinform.

Ukraine elections: Zelensky remains frontrunner as over 80% of votes processed – news politics | UNIAN

The Central Election Commission has processed 80.20% of the protocols of precinct election commissions in the first round of presidential elections held March 31, 2019. A total of 14,725,819 votes have been counted so far.

70,61% of ballots processed: Zelensky 30,46%, Poroshenko 16,18, Tymoshenko 13,15

Central Election Commission have processed 70,61% of ballots and reported that Zelensky still wins in the presidential run

Ukraine elections: After 70% of votes counted, same frontrunners ahead – news politics | UNIAN

The Central Election Commission has processed 70 of the protocols of precinct election commissions in the first round of presidential elections held March 31, 2019. Zelensky gets 30.45%, Poroshenko follows with 16.19%, and Tymoshenko comes third with 13.15%.

CEC processes over 65% of voting protocols

The Central Election Commission (CEC) counted 65.13 % of voting protocols in Ukraine’s presidential election as of 11:00 on Monday. — Ukrinform.

National Exit Poll: Zelensky gets 30.4% of votes, Poroshenko 17.8%, Tymoshenko 14.2% – news politics | UNIAN

Findings of the National Exit Poll 2019 project as of 18:00 Kyiv time on March 31 show that 30.4% of Ukrainians have voted for presidential candidate, showman Volodymyr Zelensky; 17.8% supported incumbent President Petro Poroshenko; and 14.2% cast their votes for leader of the Batkivshchyna Party Yulia Tymoshenko. An update of the National Exit Poll will be issued at 23:00 Kyiv time on March 31.

Voter turnout as of 20:00 Kyiv time on Ukraine Election Day exceeds 65% – news politics | UNIAN

A turnout of voters as of 20:00 Kyiv time on Ukraine’s March 31 Election Day was 65.35%. Some 66.91% of voters turned out at polling stations in Kyiv region.

Ukraine’s Central Election Commission processes over half of protocols

As of 08:20, April 1, the Central Election Commission of Ukraine processed 50.18% of the protocols in the electronic format in the presidential elections. — Ukrinform.

More than 10 million Ukrainians did not participate in presidential election

More than 10 million Ukrainians did not participate in voting in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election. — Ukrinform.

Poroshenko in the lead in overseas electoral district

Incumbent Head of State Petro Poroshenko is in the lead in the presidential elections in the overseas electoral district. — Ukrinform.

Most Ukrainian Canadians support Poroshenko in elections

Incumbent Head of State Petro Poroshenko wins in the first round of the presidential elections at all three polling stations in Canada. — Ukrinform.

Zelensky leads at all polling stations in Poland

In Poland, 7,795 Ukrainian citizens cast their votes at polling stations in Warsaw, Gdansk, Krakow and Lublin, which is 25% less than the total number included on the voters’ list. — Ukrinform.

Polling station in Netherlands completes counting votes

At foreign polling station No.900058 in The Hague, the count of votes in Ukraine’s presidential elections has been completed, according to the polling station’s head, Hanna Lukianets. — Ukrinform.

Soldiers in warzone show more support for Zelensky, not Poroshenko: CEC – news politics | UNIAN

The results from the special polling stations set up in the Ukraine-controlled Joint Forces Operation zone are in line with the general count, the Central Election Commission reports. Such results refute the rumors about the use by the incumbent president of his “administrative resource” at said polling stations during the fisrt round of the election.

Gloves Come Off As Zelenskyy, Poroshenko Look Ahead To Ukraine Runoff

KYIV — The predicted winners of the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election came out swinging at their election-night parties in the capital on March 31, looking to land political body blows as focus shifted from dozens of contenders to just two. In each case, the strategy ahead of a runoff in three weeks’ time seemed clear. “Today a new life starts, without corruption,” TV funnyman and political upstart Volodymyr Zelenskyy told his jubilant supporters. It was a clear jab at incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, whose five-year record against corruption has left many Ukrainians unimpressed. Meanwhile across town at Poroshenko’s campaign headquarters, the confectionery mogul who rose to the presidency as a compromise candidate early in Ukraine’s ongoing war against Russia-backed separatists was calling for a “total mobilization of Ukrainian patriots.” Alluding to his own and others’ suggestions that Zelenskyy owes his political ascendancy to an embittered oligarch with a TV station and a score to settle with the president, Poroshenko reached out to “candidates who did not make it into the second round, to fight against Moscow and the puppet of [Ihor] Kolomoyskyy.”

TSN exit poll: Zelensky and Poroshenko to compete in run-off – news politics | UNIAN

Presidential candidates Volodymyr Zelensky and Petro Poroshenko will compete in a run-off of the presidential elections in Ukraine, according to an exit poll conducted by TSN. Tymoshenko ranks third, 4.5 p.p. of votes behind Poroshenko.

Ukrainian eurobond market responds favorably to outcome of first round of election – Concorde Capital analyst

The first reaction of the international loan market to the outcome of the first round of the presidential election is positive: rates on sovereigns fell from a fall by 0.26 percentage point (p.p.) in a day as of 10:30 am for 2020 eurobonds (0.46 p.p. in a week) to a decline by 0.07 p.p. for 2026 eurobonds (0.18 p.p. in a week), Head of the Analytical Department of Concorde Capital investment company Oleksandr Paraschiy has said.

Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy rejoices at first exit poll victory in Ukraine’s election – YouTube

Guardian News Published on Mar 31, 2019 ‘Thanks for all the Ukrainians who did not cast their vote as a joke,’ comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy said as he took the lead in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election. Zelenskiy, 41, who plays a fictional president in a popular TV show, has consistently led opinion polls in a three-horse race against incumbent Petro Poroshenko and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. He has no political experience but has risen on a popular message of anti-corruption. ‘People are above all for me, [they are more important] than political activity and ambitions’. According to a preliminary exit poll, two hours before voting closed, Zelenskiy had secured 30.4% of votes compared to Poroshenko’s 17.8%. Tymoshenko, who had won 14.2%, immediately challenged the accuracy of the result, saying her internal polling put her in second place behind Zelenskiy Subscribe to Guardian News on YouTube ► http://bit.ly/guardianwiressub

Exit poll: Comedian Zelenskiy takes lead in Ukraine presidential election – YouTube

euronews (in English) Published on Mar 31, 2019 Exit poll: Comedian Zelenskiy takes lead in Ukraine election … READ MORE :https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/31/u

Jewish comedian most voted in first Ukraine’s presidential election round – Diaspora – Jerusalem Post

Zelensky, 41, whom the local media call “the Ukrainian Donald Trump,” portrays a history teacher turned president in his hit television show “Servant of the People.”

Jewish Comedian leading candidate to win Ukraine presidential elections – Breaking News – Jerusalem Post

KIEV – The first exit poll in Ukraine’s presidential election showed Jewish comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy winning the first round with 30.4 percent of the vote, and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko coming in second place with 17.8 percent.

Jewish comedian gets top votes in Ukrainian election – Israel National News

Exit polls show Volodymyr Zelensky with 30.4 percent of the vote in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election.

Jewish comedian is top vote-getter in first round of Ukraine’s presidential election – Europe – Haaretz.com

Volodymyr Zelensky will face either incumbent Petro Poroshenko or former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko in a run-off on April 21

Jewish comedian in front as voting begins in Ukrainian presidential election – World News – Haaretz.com

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, led opinion polls in a three-horse race against incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko

Comic Takes Lead After First Round Of Ukrainian Presidential Election

Exit polls put comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy ahead with some 30 percent of the vote after the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election. As the official vote count began, he look set to face incumbent Petro Poroshenko in a second round of voting in April.

Comedian Zelenskyy, Incumbent Poroshenko Look Set For Second-Round Showdown In Ukraine Election

Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy and incumbent Petro Poroshenko appear set to meet in a presidential runoff expected to be a bitter fight in a country battling Russia-backed separatists, the seizure by Moscow of a key chunk of its territory, and corruption allegations.

Comedian Leads in First Round as Ukraine Votes for President – WSJ

A comedian with no political experience was poised to win the first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections Sunday as disillusionment with the political elite simmers ahead of a likely runoff on April 21.

Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s fictional president within reach of real power | World | The Sunday Times

With only a few hours of campaigning left before today’s Ukrainian presidential election, Volodymyr Zelensky, the man topping the polls, has his supporters on their feet applauding.The dapper 41-year-old is not setting out his political programme, however, but rapping and dancing and appearing in co

Comedian who plays a president on television comes out on top in first round of Ukraine elections | TheHill

Exit polls in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election show a comedian with no political experience as the front-runner.

Vote count confirms comic’s lead in Ukraine elections | Reuters

A comedian with no political experience raced ahead in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday, offering a fresh face to voters fed up with entrenched corruption in a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia.

Popular comedian races ahead in Ukrainian presidential election | Reuters

A comedian with no political experience raced ahead in Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday, offering a fresh face to voters fed up with entrenched corruption in a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia.

Investors want Ukraine to remain in IMF bailout program after elections – Reuters

Volodymyr Zelensky, a showman without political experience, wins the first round of the presidential election in Ukraine, but experts in the West would like to see more specifics in his political program. — Ukrinform.

Comedian with no political experience heads to runoff for Ukraine presidency – Los Angeles Times

An uncertain Ukrainian presidential election pits a comedian, a president and a gas princess. What’s certain: Ukraine will continue an anti-Kremlin stance.

Ukrainian comedian WINS the first round of voting to get the job in real life | Daily Mail Online

Volodymyr Zelenskiy received almost a third of votes cast in the first round of Ukraine’s election, well ahead of veteran political rival and incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who got 17 per cent.

No Joke: Ukraine TV Comedian Wins Election’s First Round – The New York Times

Voters crowded into polling stations in a presidential race in which a leading candidate was a 41-year-old who plays a president on television.

Comedian takes lead in Ukraine presidential vote – Japan Today

A comedian with a popular anti-corruption message but no political experience took the lead in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday, exit polls showed. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, who plays a fictional president in a TV show, had consistently led opinion polls in a three-horse race against incumbent…

Ukraine presidential elections: Comedian takes lead

Ukrainians began voting in a presidential election on Sunday in which a comedian with no political experience and who plays a fictional president in a popular TV series is tipped to win the first round.

Ukraine election: Comedian leads presidential contest – BBC News

Volodymyr Zelenskiy played the president on TV – now he has clear lead in the actual election.

Ukraine election: Comedian is front-runner in first round – BBC News

Petro Poroshenko is seeking re-election but the surprise front-runner is comic Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

TV Comic Favorite to Supplant Ukrainian President in Vote Runoff – Bloomberg

A TV comedian with no political experience took a big step toward defeating Ukraine’s incumbent leader at an election runoff this month.

Comedian takes lead in first round of Ukraine’s presidential election

A comedian with a popular anti-corruption message but no political experience took the lead in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday, early exit polls showed.

Ukraine election: Comedian Zelensky takes lead after first round, exit poll shows

Comedian and showman Volodymyr Zelensky has dominated voting in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections.

Ukraine elections: Comedian secures comfortable first-round win

A comedy actor with no political experience has thrashed the incumbent in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections, according to exit polls.

‘I’m very happy, but this is not the final action’ – BBC News

A comedian has won the most votes in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential elections, according to exit polls.

Presidential candidate Zelensky tells what he would say to Putin – 112.international

The presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky, who, according to the exit polls, is the leader of the ratings, told what he would discuss with the President of Russia Volodymyr Putin if they meet. 112 Ukraine broadcasted the press conference of Zelensky with the journalists. Answering the question he asked: “If there a date of our meeting with Putin?”. Then he continued: “If I meet with Putin, I will tell him: “Well, finally you have returned our territories. ”How much more money we are ready to compensate for you taking our territories and supporting people who participated in the escalation of Crimea and Donbas, and helped them on their terrible, violent and disgusting path?” the presidential candidate said. As it was reported, according to the exit polls, Zelensky is the leader of the first round of presidential elections. The Central Election Commission began protocol handling of the presidential elections in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy says to meet Putin after return of occupied territories – LB.ua news portal

Zelenskyy says to meet Putin after return of occupied territories. He also promised to raise the question of compensation for Crimea and Donbas. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Zelensky in the lead, followed by Poroshenko: Exit poll of 112 Ukraine and News One – news politics | UNIAN

Some 30.7% of Ukrainian voters said they had voted for presidential candidate of Ukraine, showman Volodymyr Zelensky, 18.6% had cast their votes for incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, and 13.9% of voters had supported Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko. Over 26,000 Ukrainian voters were interviewed at 500 polling stations.

Zelensky agrees to hold debate with Poroshenko – news politics | UNIAN

Volodymyr Zelensky says that he is ready to hold a debate with Petro Poroshenko, who, according to findings of March 31 exit polls, is his competitor in the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine. The front-runner says it is not important to him who he faces in a run-off.

Zelensky on findings of first exit polls: “No matter who we face in run-off” – news politics | UNIAN

Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky says that it does not matter to him who of the presidential candidates he is to face in a run-off of the presidential elections in Ukraine. Zelensky says he is set to win the second round.

Zelenskyy says not to unite with Tymoshenko – LB.ua news portal

Zelenskyy says not to unite with Tymoshenko. “Any news about the unification is fake.” Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Zelensky’s team comments draft law on state language

The Ukrainian language should be the state one, according to the team of Volodymyr Zelensky, the candidate for the presidency. However, it should be popularized by benefits and rewards as 112 Ukraine reported citing Dmytro Razumovsky, the Advisor of Zelensky, who commented on the draft law on language. He expressed the opinion that the language issue is used for the political purposes in Ukraine in the run-up to the elections. “IF we talk about the languages in general, the position of Zelensky is very simple: the state language is Ukrainian. Any alternative is possible; it is written in the Constitution. If we talk about the popularization of the Ukrainian language, it should be done and it takes place today. But usually, the normal states follow the way of carrot – the creation of the beneficial conditions; the decrease of the taxation for products released in the Ukrainian language,” Razumovsky noted.

Poroshenko campaign headquarters shows results of parallel vote count – news politics | UNIAN

Incumbent President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko campaign headquarters Monday morning announced the results of a parallel vote count in the first round of presidential elections held March 31. The team say no significant violations have been recorded that could influence the course of the election.

Zelenskyy Greets Exit Poll

Actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy greeted the first exit poll after the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election, which placed him first with around 30 percent support.

Today, Ukrainians ruined the Russian scenario of the first round of the presidential elections – Head of State — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stressed that Ukrainians had managed to ruin the Kremlin’s plans. “Today, we, Ukrainians, ruined the Russian scenario of the first round. For sure, they did not want to see Poroshenko in the second round. And now let me make an assumption. Friends and enemies from Russia, Ukrainians will also ruin the scenario of the second round. You will see,” Petro Poroshenko said. “The first round was “a one-way street” case. The Kremlin, the oligarchs have already crossed all the red lines. You’ve seen what was happening over the past two weeks. Our “television channels” did not refrain from copying the most cynical tales of the Russian Kremlin propaganda,” he added. The President thanked all Ukrainians who “made it clear and sift out ashes from cinders”. “I am grateful for the fact that the exit polls, which all matched and were conducted with participation of all international partners, are trusted by the absolute majority of the headquarters of the candidates. I do not rule out that now, in 3-4 hours, someone will try some of their technological developments. I emphasize that you will reach nothing. The elections were free, the elections met all the OSCE standards. I want to thank for the unprecedented number of international observers who have been invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on my instructions. I am grateful to the Central Election Commission. We had nothing to hide. And every polling station was open, because it is trust – trust in Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized. “Why is this so important? Because Moscow hoped for victory today. You remember the words from the Kremlin addressing Ukrainians: first, we go back to the old times, the Ukrainian President will be chosen in the Kremlin. And we are ready to work with anyone, except for Poroshenko. You’ll have to work with Poroshenko again,” the President said. The Head of State also noted that the election campaign was not “quiet and calm”. “Ukraine has never had presidential elections with such an intense competition as in 2019 throughout the campaign. It’s good. There has never been such an unprecedented access of all opposition candidates to the media. Another thing is how they used this access, not presenting their programs, persuading voters, but throwing mud at each other. And first of all at the President. But this was their decision to use freedom of speech and access to the media in this way,” Petro Poroshenko noted. At the same time, he thanked those voters who, “despite the tone of mud from the fifth column of Russia, or from the channels of the fugitive-oligarch”, very quickly saw the real picture among 39 candidates.

President thanked all Ukrainians for their active participation in the elections — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko thanked Ukrainians for their active participation in voting during the statement on the results of the first round of the presidential elections. “I thank all voters, no matter who you voted for. You have contributed to the free expression of will of the citizens – fellow countrymen and dear Ukrainians all over the world. I am very grateful to those who have not stayed at home today and contributed to the free expression of will of Ukrainian citizens no matter who you voted for. You have demonstrated that you are responsible citizens who definitely care for the future of the state,” Petro Poroshenko said. The President stresses that free and democratic elections are a key prerequisite for continuing our course, our way to the European Union and NATO. The Head of State noted that during the entire electoral process, “we have not heard about any violation, there was no message that could affect the free expression of will of the citizens”. “We have passed the test for our Europeanness. And this means that we are doing everything right as regards the European direction. This is in line with the European political culture and civilization standards of the European Union. I am firmly convinced that Ukraine has successfully passed this exam today. And on April 21, we will also cope with the task of protecting the expression of will with flying colors,” Petro Poroshenko noted.

President on the importance of voting on April 21: The fate of Ukraine depends on everyone — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is convinced that in the next five years all the fundamental changes begun in the previous five years will be completed. “However, one should not expect that the victory is already in our pocket. To secure it, now, from today’s moment, we need a total mobilization of all Ukrainian patriots. Victory will not come by itself. A total mobilization of all those who fight for Ukraine, putting aside all political colors, putting aside all the insults, we can unite,” the President underlined. The Head of State noted that it is possible to unite with the candidates who stand firmly on the patriotic pro-Ukrainian platform and didn’t reach the second round. “Every voice from the state forces, the voice of every Ukrainian counts. This is my appeal to the inhabitants of the western and central regions, and those who live in the eastern regions, but know what the Ukrainian flag and the Ukrainian trident mean,” he stressed. Petro Poroshenko believes it is wrong when the voters turnout at the elections is less than in 2014. “One cannot stay aside now. No one has the right to disregard and leave the fate of the country at the discretion of those who vote, as they say, for a joke. The jokes ended,” he said. “On April 21, we will either confirm our movement to the EU and NATO, or go back. And it will seem that the situation in 2013 was very good. We have one enemy, though his faces are different: populists, state-mongers, pseudo-patriots, virtual images and open agents of the Kremlin. And behind the scenes there are those who already negotiate the capitulation,” the Head of State said. According to him, we are different, but we all want a better future for our state. “Therefore, I am now asking for your support. But it’s more about a specific surname. On April 21, we will not only elect the President. On April 21, we will elect the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. On April 21, we will choose the future. We will choose the fate of Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko said. “And the fate of Ukraine depends on everyone,” the President emphasized. He also thanked his team.

I am ready for a deep and substantive dialogue with those whom I failed to convince before the first round of elections – Petro Poroshenko — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko says he understands the signal he received from society today and emphasizes that he is open and ready to communicate with everyone who is willing to hold a substantive dialogue. “I do not feel any euphoria. I critically and soberly understand the signal society sends today to the current government. This is a rigorous lesson for me and for our entire team. This is a serious reason for a thorough work on the mistakes made in recent years. But only those who do nothing do not make a mistake,” the Head of State said after the end of the voting at the elections of the President. “I was not guided by ratings in my work. I wasn’t a state-monger. I did everything that depends on me to move Ukraine forward,” he stressed. “Before the second round and after, I am ready for a deep and substantive dialogue with those whom I failed to convince before the first round,” Petro Poroshenko said. The President addressed the young generation separately, namely those who are now under 30 and invited them to cooperate. “You see changes in the country, but you want changes to be deeper and faster. I completely share your desire. To make these changes more qualitative, we need to unite. Do not waste time. I fully understand the motives of your discontent. I heard you. And I ask – hear me,too,” he said. The Head of State especially emphasized that everything that had been done in the country over the last five years “was largely for young people”. “For the future of Ukraine. For the future generation. The Association Agreement – for whom was it? The deep and comprehensive free trade area with the European Union, which allowed us to save the state, we can frankly say this today. Integration of Ukraine into the economic, educational, cultural space of the EU – for whom? Our resolute and consistent course on joining the European Union, which other candidates have not declared yet. They still have to scratch their head. They still need to ask Moscow. They still need to hold referendums. They do not know where to go yet … We know. We are firmly convinced that Ukraine should be a member of the European Union and ensure membership in the North Atlantic Alliance,” Petro Poroshenko noted. He once again stressed that the efforts of the current generation for the younger generation should be a united work. The President also emphasized that the achievements of recent years were very easy to lose. “The point of no-return has not been passed. That way you can lose all that has been done over the last five years … To do this, it’s enough to make a mistake in the second round. Nothing more. All the rest will be done for us,” he remarked. “This is a very serious conversation – it’s up to you to decide where Ukraine will go, who will be the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, who will represent Ukraine at the international meetings with our Western partners and who will represent Ukraine in the negotiations with Moscow. This is your choice and your decision. My task is to gain your trust. My task is to ensure the free expression of the citizens’ will and to protect it,” Petro Poroshenko summed up.

We will not give a single chance to the puppet of Kolomoyskyi – Head of State — Official website of the President of Ukraine

President Petro Poroshenko claims that starting from tomorrow he will begin struggle for the election for the post of President of Ukraine in the second round. “I’m not ashamed to say – I was destined to meet in the second round with a puppet of Kolomoyskyi. We will not give a single chance to Kolomoyskyi,” he said after the end of the voting in the first round. “That is why to complete what was started, not to ruin what was done and not to waste what was hard won by people, I will start fighting tomorrow for the victory in the second round,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized. The President stressed that he had a chance to continue that struggle due to the support of Ukrainians. “You, your decisive actions, good for you, have given us this opportunity. And today, I repeat, we have made a very important step towards victory,” he stated. The Head of State once again reminded that the main task for him is to further implement the program on poverty reduction and economic development of the country. “My program is actually very short. The main priority is the implementation of the program from poverty eradication to the economy of the future. Priority: economy, economy and once again economy. And you all know: if I go for something, whether it is the ratification of the Association Agreement, the Tomos, the visa-free regime or decentralization, everything will be fine for us. We will definitely achieve and definitely win,” Petro Poroshenko noted and reminded that all the achievements mentioned by him had seemed inaccessible. “Because the damage to the economy caused by the Russian aggressor was too powerful,” he said. The President stressed that, despite the fact that “someone is about to crawl to the Russian aggressor or do something else”, Ukrainians and the authorities should bet on further strengthening of their state and troops. “Friends, we face very serious challenges. Challenges to the future of the state and generations of Ukrainians. Our second road to peace lies through the further strengthening of the army and we cannot stop this process. For the army, not some kind of memorandum, is the guarantor of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of our state. And whoever doubts that, look at the state of the army 15, 10 or 5 years ago … I felt it with my heart. And most of the people cannot imagine the challenges and impossible situations we encountered. And we cannot allow the return to those conditions,” the Head of State said. “I did it as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. I want to remind everyone – it’s not a joke, it’s the election of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. And I will deal with it daily, just as I did over the first five years,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.

Poroshenko Says Russia Did Not Want Him In Second Round

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko welcomed exit polls suggesting he had come second, and therefore would proceed into the second round run-off in presidential election — saying Russia’s aim to see him eliminated had “failed completely”.

Ukraine’s President Poroshenko Praises Anti-Russia Sentiment In Election Victory

Ukraine’s incumbent president Petro Poroshenko lauded anti-Russian sentiment in most of his country for keeping him a contender in this year’s presidential election. Poroshenko beat national icon and career politician Yulia Tymoshenko to make it to the second round against the lead candidate — who is actually an actor who plays the part of a politician on TV — Volodymyr Zelensky. Zelenksy remains the man to beat in round two next month. “Today, we Ukrainians broke with Russia’s hoped-for scenario in the first round,” Poroshenko told supporters in Kiev on Sunday.”They wanted to see anyone there, but not Poroshenko. I promise you that we will smash their hopes in the second round, too.” Poroshenko’s campaign slogan was rife with swipes against the Russians. “Army. Language. Faith.” That was his slogan. His army is fighting Russian backed separatists in the Donbas region of East Ukraine. The language means Ukraine, and not Russian, which used to be an official language in government. That stopped in 2014. Lastly, faith can be seen as a jab against the Russian Orthodox Christian church seeing the Ukrainian Orthodox Christian church separated from its old faith-based ally last year.

Poroshenko: not Galkin or Petrosyan but Putin will represent Russia at talks

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, appealing to young voters who want changes in the country, called them to unite, noting that his task was to win the trust of young people.

Poroshenko campaign expects to win over votes of ‘pro-European candidates’ in 2nd round

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s campaign staff has called on the presidential candidates who did not get enough vote in the first round of the presidential election for proceeding to the second round to support his bid for reelection.

Poroshenko: We will either reaffirm course for EU, NATO or return to 2013

He said this at his electoral headquarters after the announcement of the first results of exit polls, according to which he and showman Volodymyr Zelensky reach the run-off, an Ukrinform correspondent reported. “Now it’s impossible to stay aside. No one has the right to leave the fate of the country for those who vote, as they say, ‘for fun.’ Fun is over, or on April 21 we will reaffirm our movement to the EU and NATO or will come back and it will seem that what was done in 2013 was still very good,” he said, urging Ukrainians to make a serious and conscious choice during the second round of the presidential election. According to Poroshenko, Ukraine now has one enemy, although its face is different: populists, politicians, pseudo-patriots, virtual pictures, open agents of the Kremlin. “Behind the scenes are those who are already negotiating the surrender of Ukraine,” he added. Poroshenko noted that “we all are different but we all want a better future for our state.” “Therefore, I ask you now for your support because now we are talking not just about a specific surname. On April 21, we will be choosing not just the president, but the supreme commander-in-chief. We will be choosing our future and how Ukraine will look like,” he said.

Poroshenko hopes for “exponential” growth of support before runoff – LB.ua news portal

Poroshenko hopes for “exponential” growth of support before runoff. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Funny man vs chocolate baron: Ukraine’s presidential choice

In three weeks Ukrainians will face a choice between comedian Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who made his fortune in chocolate, for their next leader. Zelensky is the favourite going into the runoff, after exit polls showed him winning more than 30 percent of the vote in the first

Tymoshenko Says Exit Polls Manipulated

Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko has claimed that exit polls have been manipulated and do not reflect the real vote count. She was speaking as exit polls suggested she had placed third, behind President Petro Poroshenko, and would therefore not advance to the second round of the election.

Tymoshenko challenges exit poll results that show her defeat | KyivPost – Ukraine’s Global Voice

Wine glasses lined up on the bar remained intact at the campaign headquarters of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on March 31. Nobody had the mood to celebrate when all exit polls showed Tymoshenko winning the third place in the first round of the presidential election, meaning she didn’t have to get into the runoff. But few people expected that the veteran politician who twice served as prime minister and twice went to prison would easily admit her defeat. And she didn’t. Tymoshenko came up to the press a bit late and called everyone not to trust the “rigged and manipulative” exit polls and wait instead for the results of the parallel vote count conducted by her team. To prove her point she referred to the result of the exit poll allegedly conducted by her representatives at more than 17,000 polling stations, which showed her second place with 20 percent of votes after political satirist Volodymyr Zelenskiy with 27 percent. President Petro Poroshenko was third with 17.5 percent of support. Holding a scrap of paper with these numbers, she didn’t explain who and how conducted this survey. Tymoshenko claimed that “Poroshenko and his mafia” were responsible for the “rigged” exit poll results and called on her supporters to come to the polling stations and defend the results. “We believe that Volodymyr Zelenskiy is in the first place but at the same time by our data Poroshenko is not even close to being in the second place,” she told the journalists, sounding nervous. The big question was, whether Tymoshenko would call her supporters to the streets as she did in 2004 during the Orange Revolution, a popular people’s uprising caused by the rigged presidential elections. “When we have the original protocols we will be ready to defend the results,” she said but assured she was not planning riots. “The stability in the country is very important for us,” she said. Tymoshenko also spoke positively about Zelenskiy, saying that “Ukraine needs young politicians” though she denied she was negotiating with him. A rumor earlier that day said Tymoshenko might endorse Zelenskiy in the runoff in exchange for some representation for her people in his future government or a joint bid at the October parliament election.

Tymoshenko expects to see Zelenskyy in runoff – LB.ua news portal

Tymoshenko expects to see Zelenskyy in runoff. She dismissed the exit poll results as “crude fraud” and “manipulation”. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Groysman: After so many disappointments for Ukrainians, no new ones must be allowed – news politics | UNIAN

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman says the Ukrainians have often been disappointed before, so no now disappointments must be allowed. Ukraine is a democracy, the first round of presidential elections has proven, according to the head of government.

The Latest: Ukrainians abroad vote in presidential election | Fox News

The Latest on Ukraine’s presidential election (all times local): 3:15 p.m. Ukrainian citizens living in Poland are lining up to vote in their country’s presidential election.

Kateryna_Kruk on Twitter: “Let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that in the “fascist country that has problems with uncontrolled and growing in power far right movement” the candidate from the right parties gets 1,8% in total.… https://t.co/8ARdcwLEWe”

The odd man out: who’s making it into the second round of presidential elections? | UACRISIS.ORG

The odd man out: who’s making it into the second round of presidential elections?

President Poroshenko declares almost 1.6 bln of income for 2018

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko declared UAH 1.557 billion of income for 2018. — Ukrinform.

Where Ukraine’s presidential candidates Poroshenko and Zelensky (don’t) stand on Crimea and Donbas – Human Rights in Ukraine

While the issue of Russia’s occupation of Crimea may not be a vote-winner, and Volodymyr Zelensky is not alone in having no idea how to return Crimea, there are questions which the two likely presidential candidates in the second round must be willing to confront. –

Ukraine’s presidential election: Surprise results of ex-head of state security service Smeshko

One of the main sensations of the first round of the presidential election in Ukraine was an unexpected rise of Ihor Smeshko, a contestant for the presidency, to the sixth place. He did not overcome the barrier of the second round, but would make you talk about himself. According to the exit poll conducted by the Austrian Institute for Social Research and Consulting SORA in conjunction with the Ukrainian Center for Social Monitoring for the channel 112 Ukraine, Smeshko gains 6.6% of the vote. And this is twice (!) more than the opinion polls gave him before the elections. This candidate has spent 71,000 USD on his campaign, and more than 6% of the votes in the presidential election is an unrealistically good start. And the most striking fact is that according to KIIS, Smeshko is one of the three most desired “new faces” and “politicians of the new generation,” for whom the Ukrainians voted in the elections. Smeshko also considers himself a new political face, as he recently stated in an interview. The paradox is that Ihor Smeshko represents neither a fresh face nor a new generation. Although if we proceed from the fact that the new is well forgotten old, he can be counted among the debutants. In fact, Smeshko has both a background and a taste of one rather loud scandal. Therefore, let us who is Igor Smeshko. All-Ukrainian savior Smeshko is a 63-year-old retired colonel-general. He leads the Strength and Honor party, created in 2009. This party did not take part in the parliamentary elections of 2012, in 2014 it decided to run for the Verkhovna Rada, but lost (only 0.08% of voters voted for her, that is, about 13,000 people). Smeshko did not remain completely without work – in 2014, Petro Poroshenko urged him to head the intelligence committee under the President of Ukraine. But, however, already on January 30, 2015, the committee was liquidated by Poroshenko’s decree, and Smeshko was dismissed. However, much more interesting is what preceded in 2010. In September 2003 – February 2005, he led the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). At least two key events should be remembered from that time. First, Yushchenko’s poisoning at dinner, attended by Smeshko. Secondly, the orange Maidan revolution, which gathered soon after this dinner, or rather, after the second round of voting for the President of Ukraine. Regarding the first event, then, as you know, there is a version that Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned while having dinner at Smeshko’s deputy Volodymyr Satsyuk’s place. The host himself (Satsyuk), his chief Smeshko, and then close associate of Yushchenko David Zhvania attended the dinner. Who wanted to poison Viktor Yushchenko – it is still unknown, because, actually, the “dioxin case” has not been solved until now. Smeshko also denied (and denies) the very fact of the attempt on Yushchenko. As for his own involvement in the crime, Smeshko hints, not without boasting, that if the SBU had a goal to eliminate the presidential candidate, this would have been done. Now let us remember about Maidan of 2004. Nowadays, Smeshko is credited with the merit of the bloodless Orange Revolution. According to the legend, it was the then head of the Security Service of Ukraine who became an obstacle to possible bloodshed by stopping the internal troops, which had already moved to Kyiv on the orders of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. It is not entirely clear how the leaders of one department (SBU) gave orders to another (Ministry of Internal Affairs) that controlled the internal troops.

Last voting station in Ukraine’s presidential elections closed

The election of the President of Ukraine officially ended with the closure of the voting station in San Francisco (California, USA). — Ukrinform.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general declares UAH 1.7 mln salary

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has declared UAH 1.782 million as his salary for the past year, whereas his wife, MP Iryna Lutsenko, holds $2.45 million in cash. — Ukrinform.

Ballots in casserole, childbirth at polling station: How Ukraine voted

In any case, the voting for the president of Ukraine took place quite lively equally to the weather. The violations took place, of course, but the majority of them were not critical. Oleksy Koshel, the Chairman of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine stated on the air of one of the TV channels that he does not see the threat to the elections. “I do not see the grounds even to suppose the threat of the disruption of the elections in separate districts. We do not see abnormal examples. In other words, there is a problem of the agitation; there is a problem with the work of the commission. But the fact that pleases me is that there are a few facts when we can suspect the organization of the controlled voting,” Koshel stated. The moments, when the workers of the polling stations refused to place information about particular candidates considered as the obvious violations of the election process. “There are also the facts on three polling stations, when the stamps with checkmark “out” were used and it led to the spoiling of the ballots,” he added. Besides, Koshel said that the attempt failed to wean people from the making photos of their ballots with notes in front of particular names. Such a photo for Instagram or Facebook can be considered as a separate violation. VIP-voting Besides, the Voters’ Committee added: the cases, when the official observer of one of the candidates used the badges with the symbol of their leader, are also not rare. In fact, the issue was about Volodymyr Zelensky, who was promoted in such a way in Kyiv region. The representatives of Zelensky responded that they do not consider the badges as the agitation but as the identification mark. One more candidate also distinguished himself and he turned out to be the violated. Oleh Layshko showed the ballot with the results of his voting at one of the polling stations in the presence of the camera. According to Article 7 of the Law “On the election of the president of Ukraine, it is forbidden. As well as any other spotting of the voting process or its results. The top three of the candidates behaved themselves well. Interestingly, the order of the appearance of the candidates at the polling stations was such: Yulia Tymoshenko was the first, Volodymyr Zelensky was the second and Petro Poroshenko was the third. Meanwhile, their places in the National exit poll as of 6 p.m. did not coincide with the precedence of their appearance near the ballot boxes. Yulia Tymoshenko (the third place with 14,2%, according to the exit poll) came for voting with the husband and members of the team. “You know that today Ukraine has switched to the summertime, – Tymoshenko reported, – I believe that we will also make a step to successful, prospering and European Ukraine”. However, Oleksandr, the husband of Tymoshenko preferred to speak about Slovakia. This country also elected a president and Oleksandr Tymoshenko reminded about the victory of local candidate Zuzana Caputova. The message of Tymoshenko family was, generally, clear: we need more women among the presidents and everybody will be happy. However, it looks like happiness turned away from this couple. Because the lion’s share of luck went to candidate Zelensky (the first place with 30,4%). When Volodymyr Zelensky left the polling booth, he reported that he gave his vote to “very decent candidate”. However, he refused to tell the name of the chosen candidate. Zelensky noted that “the life without corruption, bribery begins. The life in a new country, the country of changes. All of us hope for it”. He also answered the question of the journalists, with whom he will enter the second tour of the elections and said without modesty: “I do not know, maybe I will be alone”. However, he added: “The country should decide it”. Meanwhile, the country decided to choose the current president as the rival of Zelensky. Petro Poroshenko occupies the second place according to the National exit poll (17,8%). Poroshenko took the family, wife, the elder son and his partner, two daughters and even grandchildren, for support. “Today I voted for Ukraine. I am sure that the elections were organized well, as the majority of the Ukrainians, as well as all my family. The will expression of the citizens will be preserved. It is the necessary condition for our movement forward, for the return of Ukraine to the family of the European nations, our membership in the EU, NATO, the continuation of the extremely important reforms, which are crucial for Ukraine,” Poroshenko said. Who the dog voted for? But it was not so serious everywhere. The funny case took place in Dnipropetrovsk region: the safe for the ballots was absent at the polling station and they were put in the large casserole. However, it was sealed and the top was taped with the rope. The common fridge was used as the safe in the same region. Mykola Kolesnyk, the MP of Kryvorizhia City Council took photos of both and published on the social networks. Fortunately, the members of the commission did not though to store the ballots in the incubators for newborn at the polling station situated in one of Kyiv maternity homes. Theoretically, they could. “Maternity home” polling station was marked by the journalists, when one of the women in labor succeeded to do her civic duty before the childbirth. Then she returned to the mother’s duty and gave birth to a girl right after voting. And once again about safe ballots. It was so carefully sealed in Lviv region that people did not succeed to open it in the morning on March 31. They used the angle grinder to open it. Any of ballots was damaged as the operation of opening took place so delicate. In Kyiv’s Podil though, voters lost an extra hour. Polling station #105 opened at 9:00 a.m. instead of 8:00 a.m. The commission chairman began to celebrate the event in advance and appeared at the workplace cherry merry. Other election participants suspected he was drunk and called the police. Well, you will hardly surprise anyone with drunken people, but a big black dog at one of the PS caused agiotage. Although the four- paws did not sabotage anything – he was lying quietly in the voting booth waiting for his owner to make his choice. The dog moved the BBC journalist Jonah Fisher, who covers the elections in Ukraine. Fisher posted a photo of the dog in his Twitter account commented: “Not clear who the dog voted for.”

Kremlin not to discuss Crimea status regardless of election results in Ukraine – news politics | UNIAN

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said the government will not discuss the status of Crimea whoever becomes president in Ukraine. The spokesman claims the Crimea developments were “in strict accordance with the laws of Ukraine and based on international law.”

Kremlin ready to explain that Russia does not occupy Crimea, – Putin’s Press Secretary

The Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov was asked to comment on the statement of Ukraine’s presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky about his intention to demand that Russia returns occupied territories and compensates expenses. In his turn, Peskov said that “Russia does not occupy any Ukrainian territories and is ready to explain that to every Ukrainian”, as TASS reported. “We are ready to explain every Ukrainian citizen that Russia does not occupy any Ukrainian territories and it is out of the question,” Peskov said. According to him, the self-proclaimed “republics of Donbas were rejected by Ukraine, things which happen there were the consequences of the policy of Ukraine’s leadership”. “Mention of Crimea in such context is completely unacceptable, as this topic is finished once and for all, it is out of the question. Moreover, the words “occupation” or “annexation” are not applicable to Crimea neither de facto nor de jur. Everything that happened in Crimea was implemented in compliance with the Ukrainian legislation and international law,” Peskov added.

Russian lawmakers drafting statement on non-recognition of Ukraine election – news politics | UNIAN

Russia’s State Duma Committee on CIS, Eurasian Integration and Communication with Compatriots has offered that the lower house adopt a statement on “non-recognition of the results of the presidential election in Ukraine.” The Duma Council will consider the draft on April 1.

TASS: World – Ukraine’s self-proclaimed republics rule out dialogue with Zelensky

Donbas leaders «have nothing to talk about» with Zelensky, the LPR foreign minister said

TASS: World – Zelensky beating Poroshenko, as both contenders bound for runoff presidential race

All the exit polls confirm that Vladimir Zelensky and Pyotr Poroshenko are heading into the second round of the presidential election

TASS: World – Yuila Tymoshenko’s team says she enters second round of elections together with Zelensky

Yuila Tymoshenko’s team says she enters second round of elections together with Zelensky

Ukraine Votes: 3 Candidates Battle for Control of Europe’s 2nd Largest State – Sputnik International

Ukrainians are heading to the polls on Sunday for the first round of the country’s presidential election, the first presidential race since the controversial May 2014 vote which followed the Maidan coup. Sputnik brings you up to speed with everything you need to know about the top three candidates running for the country’s highest office.

Things to Know About Ukraine Election Frontrunner, Comic Volodymyr Zelenskiy – Sputnik International

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Volodymyr Zelenskiy, famous Ukrainian comedian and actor, is leading in the Ukrainian presidential race, according to recent polls.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Jehovah’s Witnesses at Particular Risk in Russia’s North Caucasus, Rights Activists Say

Paul Goble Staunton, March 31 – Since Moscow began its persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, there is no place in Russia where the followers of that faith are safe. But human rights activists say the Witnesses are at particular risk in Russia’s North Caucasus because there many of the Witness converts are former Muslims and their break with Islam is viewed in an especially negative way. Svetlana Gannushkina, head of the Civic Support Committee, says that Jehovah’s Witnesses in the North Caucasus have found it almost impossible to defend themselves against any actions against them, including family violence, since Moscow declared their faith extremist and therefore illegal (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/333654/). Their family members view their shift from Islam to the Witnesses as a betrayal and often treat such converts brutally; and the victims of such abuse find it impossible to turn to the courts or even to human rights groups because of the illegal status of their religious organization. As a result, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the region are especially oppressed, she says. Often the only thing activists can do is to organize the departure of Witnesses from the region to some foreign country, but acquiring visas is not easy. Some countries refuse, and then the Witnesses who have sought to leave are tarred with yet another label that produces distrust and an unwillingness to defend them. The situation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Muslim regions like the North Caucasus, Gannushkina says, has always been difficult: Muslims don’t approve of anyone who breaks with their faith. But the situation has seriously deteriorated for this group since Moscow banned it as an organization. Neither she nor other rights activists who took part in the briefing, including Aleksandr Verkhovsky of SOVA, Lev Levinson of the Human Rights Institute and Anatoly Pchelintsev of the Religion and Law journal, had specific numbers concerning such abuse. But they were unanimous that it is a serious problem, one that has received far too little attention in Moscow.