The week that passed has finally transformed Ukraine into a show: on television and social networks, on the streets and at home, everyone is discussing and monitoring only the presidential elections in Ukraine. It turned out that the candidates are going to compete in eloquence on the arena of the Olimpiyskyi stadium. Fortunately, there will be no swords. Our being embodied the slogan that “our life is game” from the TV quiz “What? Where? When” in reality. Opinion in its traditional digest cuts this blockbuster into a short trailer.

For visual accompaniment of the text, we’ve chosen CNN’s best photos from the US Superbowl-2019 finale. This is the highest rated and the most expensive show in the world. However, it’s also diminishing in comparison with the scale of the Ukrainian political process. What’s more important: the game of fierce competitors or the performance of the stars on stage? The US has not yet responded to this question. So, what about us?

The Central Election Commission processed 100% of electronic protocols, showman Volodymyr Zelensky wins the first round of presidential elections with a result of 30.24%. The incumbent head of state Petro Poroshenko holds the second place with a rating of 15.95% of electoral support.

Thus, these two candidates will meet in the second round, which CEC will announce after receiving all protocols in paper form.

Anyway, Zelensky is a phenomenon of Ukrainian politics. Within six months, the noname turned into the main contender for the presidential post and bet Petro Poroshenko. He became the first candidate to win in 20 regions of Ukraine (Poroshenko won Lviv and Ternopil, Tymoshenko – Ivano-Frankivsk, and Boyko – Donetsk). The populist that was promising 1,500 USD for each teacher, was able to make one-third of all the country’s voters fall in love with him.

“Ze is a ‘Russian World’ disguised as Europe. So, he can be a tool for the ‘Europeization’ of homo sovieticus, and a way of ‘sovietization’ of European vector. This is a ‘Trojan horse’ in both directions. What will win in it – depends on society,” said the philosopher,   the doctor of political studies and senior researcher of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Volodymyr Yermolenko.

However, this magic did not work for one person. Petro Poroshenko named Zelensky a “puppet of Kolomoiskyi” after losing (if it can be called losing). Numerous armies of bots on social networks have already begun to talk about the choice between Mr. Petro and Mr. Ihor.

But Zelensky got the ball again. So, he led the game.

“Zelensky gave Poroshenko 24 hours to make a decision on the conditions of the debates with Zelensky:

– venue is NSC Olympiyskiy

– to undergo a medical examination

– Poroshenko should say that the debates will be held not with the puppet of Kremlin or Kolomoiskyi but with the presidential candidate

“Objectively speaking, it was very powerful. Zelensky sets the agenda, makes him react, dominates. The thing that surprises, because many didn’t believe that Zelensky would risk coming to the debates,” said a political analyst Olexiy Minakov.

Poroshenko took up the challenge. So now we only have to wait for the show to go on.

The result of the presidential election became a personal tragedy for Yulia Tymoshenko.

For the third time, she was one step behind the realization of her childhood dream to lead the country. For the third time, this dream has brutally bypassed her. This time, she lacked about 3% of the votes.

The next day after the election, on Monday, Tymoshenko canceled all her plans and stayed home.

She found the strength to speak to her voters only on Tuesday. That day, Mrs. Tymoshenko modestly gathered journalists in her party’s office at Turivska Square, writes Ukrainska Pravda.

“I want to specify that Poroshenko fabricated the election. He got to the run-off in a dishonest way, his team managed to disperse the votes of pro-Ukrainian forces by dirty technologies,” leader of the Batkivshchyna said, admitting that her voters won’t see their favorite in the second round.

“We won’t go to court to contest the election results. For what? The judicial system doesn’t exist here, it is a ‘puppet’,” she continued with despair.

Tymoshenko reassured Ukrainians that she doesn’t plan protest actions and encouraged her team saying that they are going to face another fight.

“Our struggle is not over. This is just one lost chance. We still have an opportunity to implement the new course – these are the next parliamentary elections,”  Mrs. Tymoshenko sounded a little bit enthusiastic already.

In general, Tymoshenko spoke for no more than 15 minutes and, avoiding any questions, immediately disappeared behind her deputies and bodyguards.

Why did she lose? Because she had started the campaign too early – 10 months in advance because she offered to reduce gas prices in three times, while Mrs. Tymoshenko herself was a reason for rising of fuel prices, because betting on the youth did not work, and nobody believed in her “chancellery mission”.

“More than six months Tymoshenko deliberately waged war against Petro Poroshenko, whom she called her main rival in this election.

She tried to make him an easy target for the second round, so she did not refrain to call him by name in public. Moreover, Tymoshenko deliberately criticized the current president, when her rating was almost twice as high as Poroshenko had, thereby she drag him closer to herself.

After the New Year, the political map has rapidly changed and the main competitor of Mrs. Yulia has become not Mr. Petro, but inexperienced Zelensky, to whom spilled over her protest electorate.

Instead of quickly switching to a competition with a leader of sociological polls, almost until the end of the campaign Tymoshenko behaved like there was no Zelensky around, she continued to oppose Poroshenko,” writes Roman Kravets.

Throughout her election campaign, Tymoshenko demonstrated that she was already the next president as if it was a real fact. However, it turned out the other way. Mrs. Yulia had to go with her head lowered. Forever? The answer will be at parliamentary elections.

For the past two days, the team of Petro Poroshenko has still not made a clear message about the strategy of winning elections in the conditions of 15.9% against 30.2%.

“According to our information, now in the headquarters of the president, there is a ‘festival of panic and hysteria’ with all possible experts and the main question is ‘what to do’.  However, despite the recommendations to ‘urgently decorate the fence of the house with Chimeras (it is situated across the street from the President of Ukraine’s office – translator’s note) with the heads of Hlankovskyi family, as well as Kernes, Trukhanov, customers of Handziuk assassination and other friends of Lee Kuan Yu (who still could not provide significant percentages for the first round), Poroshenko decided to check on the lie detector not them, but Ukroboronprom,” the Telegram channel THE NEWSROOM writes.

The Cabinet of Ministers allowed Naftogaz to lower gas prices for the population. The nature of the decision’s implementation is not mandatory, but the necessary information has gone all over the media. Will it help in 2 weeks? We’ll see.

In addition, Angela Merkel and President of the European Council Donald Tusk played in support of Poroshenko. They congratulated Poroshenko on the occasion of getting to the second round. The Kremlin still draws conclusions from statements by presidential candidates.

“We are ready to explain to any citizen of Ukraine that Russia does not occupy any territory… Unrecognized republics of Donbas are torn off by Ukraine itself… Recalling Crimea, in this context, we consider inadmissible,” said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the president of the Russian Federation.

Peskov added that it would be premature to give an assessment of the elections in Ukraine, as there should be a run-off.

The United States has already expressed its opinion on Ukrainian elections. In particular, the widow of American senator John McCain joined the delegation of the International Republican Institute.

“The International Republican Institute of the United States notes with satisfaction the good organization of the elections,” said Stephen Nix, Regional Director (Eurasia) of the International Republican Institute of the United States. “There are few comments. Members of the electoral committees are well prepared. And we are especially pleased that the elections were held in such a peaceful and calm environment. This is a big step forward for Ukraine,” said American observers.

You can rejoice at the results of the first round, you can sigh, but everyone has a choice. Even though now it’s only two surnames. There are many former Soviet republics that envy us. Neither in Moscow, nor in Minsk, nor in Nursultan (hehe) there is no choice at all. So go to the elections and use your right – because we’re worth it.

By Konstiantyn Rul

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