Zelensky won, and 25% of active voters proclaimed themselves a new elite. While ladies and gentlemen are fighting on Facebook, Putin began to hand out Russian passports in the occupied Donbas, and Akhmetov got the opportunity to completely monopolize the energy sector of the country.
For the visual guidance of this text, we selected some relevant pictures of this week. Even though not all of them are relevant to Ukraine (after all, not only the photos of Volodymyr Zelensky and Petro Poroshenko to post), but they accurately convey the mood of the world: somewhere people smile, somewhere cry. Life goes on, not looking back at either the ruins of the millennial cathedrals or the newly elected presidents.
Zelensky won. No, he didn’t just win. He literally ran with a bulldozer across the regions, taking millions of Ukrainians in his scoop. Poroshenko managed to keep only the Lviv region. They say that only there his pre-election triad “Faith, Army, Language” had unquestioning support. In other parts of Ukraine, as it turned out, more popular were the loud slogans about imprisonment, new faces and even new era.
No matter how bloody the election campaign was, 73% against 24% speak louder than any performance in the media. The supporters of Poroshenko immediately began to talk about the honour of being in the opposition (which is a bit strange, given that Poroshenko will fulfil the duties of the president at least for a month and it is unknown what exactly to be in opposition to Zelensky, because he, in fact, didn’t declare anything specific). And after this proud demarche, the supporters of the Poroshenko went crazy and began calling the voters of “Ze” a cattle, opposing themselves as a new elite.
This electorate war is more dangerous than the dangers of the two candidates combined because we are not “electorate”, we are citizens of Ukraine. The nation is not a party. The refrain of our history is simple: first, we destroy each other, then they destroy us.
I think we have the right and the strength not to succumb to the streams of hate speech. It seems to me that we must learn to think in terms of the state, and not only in terms of groups. It’s even better to learn to think in worldwide terms.
“I believe that the people who chose Zelensky made a big mistake, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot live with them in one country, talk with them or do anything together with them. I hope, among them, there are many who think the same way,” Ukrainian philosopher Volodymyr Yermolenko wisely noticed.
And respect to each other will tell more than flattering meetings under the president’s administration or a party in Zelensky’s headquarters.
Hiding from reactions to the victory of Zelensky in Ukraine was impossible. But behind the wall of the national hype, it was interesting to see what the world thinks (in a respectable voice) of Mr Zelensky. The Hromadske managed to break through the information boom and build a powerful digest.
“For Ukraine, it was a choice between the experienced politician with five years of the presidency on the account and a comic who is a bit more than a white sheet of paper,” BBC writes. “The fact that so many people voted for Zelensky is a humiliation for Petro Poroshenko.”
British informational agency Reuters has described the victory of Zelensky quite emotionally: “Ukraine has entered uncharted political waters after near final results showed a comedian with no political experience had dramatically upended the status quo and won the country’s presidential election by a landslide.” They also give a similar example that Zelensky’s victory is a “bitter blow” for Poroshenko, the president who “cast himself as a bulwark against Russian aggression and a champion of Ukrainian identity.”
The Guardian also stressed that Zelensky has benefitted from voter dissatisfaction with Poroshenko.
“The billionaire confectionary magnate promised Ukrainians they would “live in a new way”, but the pace of change has been too slow for many,” the Guardian writes.
And the lack of necessary specifics should have become an obstacle but didn’t. “During the campaign, he offered little information about his policies or plans for the presidency, relying on viral videos, stand-up comedy gigs and jokes in place of traditional campaigning.” And he could win.
The website of the French TV channel France 24 calls the results of the presidential elections in Ukraine “unusual”. “It was an extraordinary outcome to a campaign that started as a joke but struck a chord with voters frustrated by poverty, corruption and a five-year war that has claimed some 13,000 lives.”
Particularly interesting is the position of Israel media concerning the Ukrainian presidential elections. The main message of The Jerusalem Post about Zelensky’s victory is about the fact that Ukraine will be the first country in the world, except for Israel, where the president and the Prime Minister (Volodymyr Groysman) are of Jewish origin.
It is clear that Europeans, Americans and the whole world don’t know how to treat Zelensky. And that’s why the leaders of the country began to compete who would ask the no-name President first. Critics of “Ze” will have to be disappointed: Russia isn’t thrilled about the comedian. They are restrainedly glad that Poroshenko leaves, but the election of Zelensky they called another manifestation of instability in Ukraine.
But while everyone was busy with the election, the “system” again took up its own. So, the deputies managed to come up with an extremely important Language Law (which actually needed to be voted 27 years ago), but the same deputies banned the installation of domestic solar power stations on the ground. This is such a small gift to Rinat Akhmetov in recent months of cadence. But the great present was from the Antimonopoly Committee, which allowed the oligarch to buy another 2 Oblenergos and become a monopolist in the electricity supply market.
With this acquisition, Rinat Akhmetov’s group significantly exceeded the 35% threshold in the electricity supply market, which is a structural feature of the monopoly on the market.
It should be recalled that Rinat Akhmetov’s group currently controls more than 80% of thermal power generation, over 80% of coal mining, and the Burshtyn Energy Island, through which imports of cheaper electricity from Europe might be carried out but they don’t.
So comment on the oligarchs on Facebook more carefully. Otherwise, Akhmetov will turn off the light.
The cold wind went from the east. On April 24, Vladimir Putin signed a decree on a simplified procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for residents of the occupied areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and called it “humanitarian aid”.
It’s not about Zelensky at all (for those who talk about the “weakness” of the future Commander-in-Chief). Moscow has been preparing for this long before the first tour of presidential elections – in March the sources mentioned the fact that the decision had been already taken and it will be compiled in any case.
It’s not the first time when Russia resorts to issuing its passports in the territories which it controls or plans to control. After all, it was one of the elements which for years prepared Crimea for annexation. Now it’s the turn of Donbas.
That’s why the Kremlin’s strategy remains unchangeable – to take control over Donbas without annexation; to destabilize the demarcation zone in order to keep Ukrainian army “in good shape” and at the same time – to destabilize Ukraine with the means of ongoing, exhausting, endless warfare that takes lives, but doesn’t bring visible results.
And when the “old” president and the newly-elected one think (at least they have to) how to fight against this gentle annexation, Putin has a cup of tea with his dictator-colleague Kim Jong-un. They have the things to chat about.
Text by Kostyantyn Rul