Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stood next to an empty lectern bearing his election rival’s name and used a solo appearance at Ukraine’s largest sports stadium on Sunday to lash out at the race’s inexperienced front-runner as a “virtual candidate.” While Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a television comedian, has never held public office, a public opinion survey had him finishing far ahead of the incumbent president in the April 21 runoff election.
A comedian with no political experience won a landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday, exit polls showed, dealing a stunning rebuke to the country’s political establishment.
Ukrainians voted on Sunday in an election expected to thrust a comedian with no prior political experience and few detailed policies into the presidency of a nation at war and hungry for change.
Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by telephone on Tuesday with Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and invited him to Germany, a German government spokeswoman said.
Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky topped the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election with almost twice the vote share of his nearest rival, incumbent Petro Poroshenko, Partial results showed on Monday.
With three quarters of votes counted on Monday, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a 41-year-old comic who plays a fictional president in a popular TV series, had won more than 30.5 per cent.
The gas blast on Thursday ripped through the mine in Yurievka village in the self-proclaimed republic of Lugansk, which broke away from Kiev in 2014 and is run by Moscow-backed rebels.
A Ukrainian Soviet-designed military helicopter Mi-8 crashed late on Wednesday in western Ukraine, killing all four crew members, Ukrainian land forces said on Thursday.
A month after scoring a landslide victory against incumbent Petro Poroshenko amid widespread public discontent with the political establishment, the 41-year-old comedian has become Ukraine's youngest post-Soviet president.