Ukraine’s pro-Russian voters may help Kremlin reclaim influence – Bloomberg
A better-than-expected showing for Russia-leaning candidates in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election could mean forces loyal to the Kremlin make inroads at the country’s parliamentary vote later this year, according to a Bloomberg reporter Daryna Krasnolutska.
While two pro-Western candidates will go head to head in a runoff in three weeks, Russia-friendly Yuriy Boyko and Oleksandr Vilkul garnered a combined 15 percent, Bloomberg recalls.
Their performance doesn’t mean Ukraine will shift its allegiances eastward again any time soon. But it could add further intrigue to legislative elections scheduled for the fall.
“They offered people a return to the past, and it attracted older people,” said Viktor Zamiatin, a political analyst at the Razumkov Center in Kyiv. “If things stay as they are, parties loyal to Russia will have more seats in the next parliament than they have now.”
As UNIAN reported earlier, the election's first round frontrunner showman Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko will face off in the second round of the election set to be held April 21.
Poroshenko accepted Zelensky's offer to hold a public debate at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv. The venue has never been used for political purposes before, while debates were traditionally held in a classical set at a TV studio.