Ukraine Monitor Articles
New President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky informed about the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada during his inauguration speech after swearing in. It is known that the decision was supported by most factions, including Petro Poroshenko Bloc. Both Zelensky and Poroshenko want the elections to happen as soon as possible to exploit the mobilisation of their electorates after the presidential elections.
The winner of the presidential elections in Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky was sworn in as head of state on May 20. He immediately announced the dissolution of the parliament and expressed his expectations of the government’s resignation and immediate personnel changes at the highest state offices.
The first meeting of the president-elect and representatives of parliamentary groups have reached an impasse. It seems that most deputies do not want to allow the inauguration to happen on May 19. If the Verkhovna Rada decides that Zelensky takes office after May 27, he will lose the right to dissolve the parliament before the end of its term and the elections will take place in autumn.
Vladimir Putin has signed a decree simplifying the procedure of granting Russian citizenship to the residents of the occupied part of Donbas (so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics). Moscow supports this decision by humanitarian reasons, but Kiev and the West claim that this is a provocation or even preparation for the annexation of the region.
The victory of Volodymyr Zelensky in the presidential elections in Ukraine is a better piece of news for Moscow than the possible re-election of Petro Poroshenko. From the Kremlin’s point of view, the current president is “a party of war” and the future one is an unknown. Even though Moscow is cautious about the situation in Kiev, it is visible that they are hoping for a new beginning of the relations with Ukraine.
In accordance with expectations and polls, Volodymyr Zelensky probably won the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine. What can be a little surprising is the magnitude of the victory: almost three-quarters of voters voted for Zelensky and only one in four voted for his rival.
Everything indicates that a three weeks gap between the first and the second round of the elections in Ukraine is too short for Petro Poroshenko to catch up Volodymyr Zelensky. The President explained that earlier he had been focused on the competition with Yulia Tymoshenko to manage to reach the second round. After March 31, he has been doing everything to compete with Zelensky.
As anticipated, Volodymyr Zelensky and Petro Poroshenko have advanced to the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine. The situation of the current president is difficult, but not hopeless. This means that the next three weeks will probably turn into a true bruising election battle.
Mass searches and arrests of several dozen Crimean Tatar activists have been the largest operation of Russia’s FSB in Crimea for months. It is no coincidence that this had happened a few days before the presidential elections in Ukraine. Over the last months, various repressions in the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula have been part of the so-called “tightening” of the Kremlin’s internal policy.
Russia enhanced its position in negotiations concerning a possible prolongation of gas transit through Ukraine to European markets. This time, Gazprom used its partners from Hungary and political satellites in Kiev. The message from both meetings, which took place the same day, is clear: Gazprom is preparing for gas export to Europe, bypassing Ukraine, yet at the beginning of 2020.
This year, the anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea falls in the middle of the presidential campaign in Ukraine. It was not a reason for joy for the candidates as it is not a good topic to be used in the campaign. Part of them would have to defend their decisions made in February and in March 2014 (and is concerns Tymoshenko even more than Poroshenko).
The United States will channel more financial resources for Ukraine for the purchase of weapons and for the enhancement of the Ukrainian navy potential. In the conflict with Russia, which is dangerous not only to Ukraine, Kiev can count on the full support of NATO and on the future membership in the alliance – according to the report by the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg.
Three weeks before the first round of presidential elections in Ukraine, the first, stable position in polls is occupied by a comedian and TV producer Volodymyr Zelensky. Yulia Tymoshenko recouped her losses, beating Petro Poroshenko in polls again. The struggle between the current president and the former PM is intensifying.
Court of Kiev provisionally arrested for a month the former Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Volodymyr Zamana. The retired general was detained on February 25 by SBU and the Prosecutor’s Office charges him of high treason. Zamana, who served as the Chief of the General Staff during the governance of Viktor Yanukovych, rejects the allegations.