(CGTN America/Video Interview) Voters in Ukraine went to the polls Sunday to narrow a field of 39 presidential candidates down to two. If the preliminary results hold, Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko will face comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a runoff election in three weeks. The 41-year-old challenger has no political experience but appealed to Ukrainians disillusioned by government corruption and poor living standards. Incumbent Poroshenko described the results at his election rally as sobering. CGTN’s Stephanie Freid reports from Kiev.
Guests: Serhiy Kudelia is an associate professor of Political Science at Baylor University. Pavel Felgenhauer is a defense analyst and columnist for Novaya Gazeta. Yuval Weber is a global fellow at the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute and Associate Professor at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School. Marko Mihkelson is the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian parliament.
Kudelia: “Voters basically said: let us live in a free society without the state really imposing on us, telling us which language we should speak, which websites we should access, and which television shows to watch.”
Kudelia: “That is part of his appeal, voters are trying to tell the state that you need to move away and let us directly rule through Mr. Zelenskiy. Of course that’s a utopian goal. It’s very unrealistic. But in a way that’s the direction Ukraine is taking right now.”
More (YouTube) © CGTN America