Poroshenko-Zelensky battle serves nothing / News / News agency Inforos
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Poroshenko-Zelensky battle serves nothing

No fundamental change of Kiev's policy is forthcoming

11.04.2019 17:20 Vladimir Lepekhin, Director of the EurAsEC Institute

Poroshenko-Zelensky battle serves nothing
Context:

The Ukrainian political fuss is underway, with the country anticipating the debates between Poroshenko and Zelensky. Against this background, no one seems to be interested in the fate of the country, it's all about the principle "if we have to do our bit, let's do it with a bang".

However, there is one more viewpoint here: the upcoming battle is meaningless and will change nothing, because the Ukrainian voters have already decided whom to vote for in the second round. And most of them are known to have chosen Zelensky.

Neither are voter preferences going to change because of Poroshenko's latest attempts to intimidate, once again deceive or move the Ukrainian public to pity. Another thing is that the leading Ukrainian oligarchs have not yet chosen their favorite candidate; they keep bargaining to hit a jackpot a week before the vote.

Hence the looming probable surprises, like a decision by Renat Akhmetov, whose group controls part of Ukraine's East, will eventually back Poroshenko; or Tymoshenko's ceasing to support Zelensky and switching sides to join the incumbent President just before the vote in exchange for a promise to appoint her prime minister or speaker of the Verkhovna Rada after the election.

No matter who wins on April 21, the Ukrainians are going to face difficult times in any case, because there is no fundamental change of Kiev's policy forthcoming; the struggle between various criminal, radical political and other groups will continue or even escalate and the country will witness a new discussion on the fate of the Donbass region. In short, the upcoming Ukrainians' choice will be no more than a forced choice of the "lesser evil."

But how is the Ukrainian voter going to determine which of the two evils imposed today is a lesser one?

From my point of view, it has long ago become necessary to stop thinking and arguing on whether a marauder is worse than a clown or vice versa. One needs to make clear about the one standing for Petro Poroshenko and who will virtually run the show in Ukraine if Vladimir Zelensky is elected president.

Petro Poroshenko, as you know, was brought to power by the American Democrats, who basically unleashed a fratricidal war in the Donbass region following the Maidan coup. For the time being, Western hawks brought their ships to the Black sea, virtually threatening the Ukrainians with the use of force if their candidate fails.

So, among confirmations of the thesis that Poroshenko's campaign is run by Kurt Walker personally, as well as representatives of a number of American structures (for instance, George Soros' Open Society Foundations), is the fact that Poroshenko's campaign team hired "black strategists" from Israel to deal with Zelensky, who, in turn, kept awake those American political strategists who made a fuss about the alleged participation of "Russian hackers" in Donald Trump's election campaign two years ago.

So far, these "black strategists" have not come up with anything interesting except claiming Zelensky is a drug addict. But in the days remaining before the vote, they can hardly be expected to do anything else: since whitening Poroshenko is impossible, they will try to demonize Zelensky as much as possible.

And what about Zelensky himself? Here is a fresh evidence of the fact that engaged in his team for the last four weeks have been competitors and antipodes of US Democrats, e.g. Donald Trump's strategists.

It is clear that Zelensky is not a Russophile, and neither is Igor Kolomoysky himself. But it is quite possible that under this tandem Ukraine will see certain movement towards improved relations with Moscow. There are obviously forces in Russia that would prefer Poroshenko to the Zelensky-Kolomoysky duet, but as for me, I still think Vladimir Zelensky is better as the head of Ukraine, at least because under him editor-in-chief of RIA-Novosti Ukraine Kirill Vyshinsky will be released from prison (not right away, of course).

However, I would like to once again stress that the Ukrainian voters have already decided on their preferences, and perhaps it is them, not the oligarchs or "black strategists, who will play a decisive role in determining the winner.

 

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