PARIS, April 13 -- Ukrainian presidential candidate Vladimir Zelensky’s talks with French President Emmanuel Macron were meaningful, Zelensky told TASS after his meeting with Macron in the Elysee Palace on Friday.
"Yes, we have held very constructive talks," he said when asked about the atmosphere of the meeting. However, Zelensky did not elaborate. The Ukrainian presidential front-runner arrived at the Elysee Palace at 3.10 p.m. and left it approximately an hour later. Earlier, the Elysee Palace press service confirmed that Macron would meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Pyotr Poroshenko at 6.00 p.m. on Friday, adding that prior to that meeting, Macron would hold talks with Poroshenko’s opponent, Vladimir Zelensky. The spokesperson did not elaborate what issues would be on the table of the talks, but pointed out that bilateral issues were expected to be touched upon along with cooperation within the framework of the Normandy Four group.
The Ukrainian presidential election was held on March 31. Leader of the Servant of the People political party Vladimir Zelensky is in the lead with 30.24% of the vote, followed by incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko, who garnered 15.95%. Since none of the candidates managed to get more than 50% of the vote, the top two are headed towards a runoff scheduled to take place on April 21
KIEV, April 3 -- The Ukrainian Central Election Commission (CEC) has only 0.12% of the ballots left to count to announce the official results of the first round of the presidential race.
Currently, frontrunner Vladimir Zelensky has racked up 30.23% of the votes, while incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko has almost half of that - 15.95%. The leader the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) Party, Yulia Timoshenko, trails third with 13.39% of votes, while 11.67% of voters cast their ballots for Yuri Boyko, the candidate from the Opposition Platform - For Life Party. Anatoly Gritsenko of the Civil Position Party finishes fifth with 6.91% of support.
According to the CEC’s data, voter turnout stands at 63.52%, while almost 11 million people out of 29.6 million registered voters were not able to vote or did not want to. Accordingly, the Donbass territories were excluded from the voting process as Kiev is not exercising control over them. As a result, different estimates say that 2 mln - 4 mln people, who could have supported opposition candidates, could not take part in the voting. Moreover, Ukrainian laws limit the voting rights of internally displaced people and those without permanent residence, which means that 1 mln - 3 mln Ukrainians did not vote. In addition, the CEC eliminated all voting stations in Russia, which led to another 3 million Ukrainians being cut off from the vote. The second round of the Ukrainian presidential race is scheduled for April 21. Many experts predict that Zelensky will win, however, they also note that the victory won’t be easy.
KIEV, April 2 -- The leader of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party Yulia Timoshenko has accused incumbent Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko of vote rigging in the first round of the March 31 presidential election, but said she is not planning to challenge the results.
"I can definitely say that Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has rigged the election, especially his own results. They were not just rigged, they were distorted," Timoshenko told a news conference on Tuesday. The former Ukrainian prime minister insisted that Poroshenko had utilized dirty election technologies. "One of them was to register 39 presidential candidates in order to split votes and enable the incumbent president to get a chance to reach the runoff," she said. "And we saw this: unfortunately, in the first round they managed to divide the votes of pro-Ukrainian opposition forces."
Timoshenko also accused Poroshenko of vote buying, which was also sponsored from the budget funds. In particular, the authorities earmarked money from the state coffers in additional payment for millions of pensioners. They also paid some people who agreed to vote for the president, she claimed.
All this distorted the results even before the election began, according to Timoshenko. Besides, one of candidates had the same family name with her and during the vote counting some ballots were considered in his favor. Those ballots with two marks were recognized as invalid. "And at last, on election day a 100% voter turnout was recorded at hundreds of polling stations and then there were incredibly high results in favor of the incumbent president - more than 80%," she said. Video recordings show that hundreds of ballots were taken from other candidates’ piles to those of the president.
However, Timoshenko stated that she would not contest the election outcome in court, because she does not believe in justice in Ukraine. "I can say at once that we are not going to court," she said. "There is no judicial system in Ukraine, that’s why it’s impossible to challenge the election there." Timoshenko also emphasized that she believes it is wrong to launch street protests because this will undermine stability in the country and escalate internal divisions. "We still have another chance to change everything and fulfill a new course, that’s the parliamentary election," she said.
According to the CEC, the leader of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party Yulia Timoshenko comes in third with 13.38% of the vote. Comedian and leader of the Servant of the People political party Vladimir Zelensky leads the Ukrainian presidential race with 30.26% of the vote, while Poroshenko secured 15.92%, with 97.77% of ballots counted, the Central Election Commission said.
KIEV, March 31 -- Ukraine’s seventh presidential election has kicked off on Sunday. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the votes in the first round, a runoff election will be held on April 21.
Among the frontrunners are popular comic actor Vladimir Zelenskiy, trailing behind him is former prime minister and leader of the Batkivschina party, Yulia Tymoshenko, and in third place is the current president Pytor Poroshenko. According to latest opinion polls, Zelensky leads the race (26%-28%), followed by Timoshenko (13%-17%) and trailing behind her is incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko (16.5%-18%). Also in the top five are opposition candidate Yuri Boyko (9.5%-11%) and leader of the Civil Position party Anatoly Gritsenko (8.4% and 9.8%).
OTTAWA, March 16 -- Canada has introduced new anti-Russian sanctions in relation to the November 2018 Kerch Strait incident, placing 114 individuals and 15 entities on the sanctions list.
The statement by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland was published on Friday informs. "In coordination with the European Union and the United States, Canada is today announcing new sanctions in response to Russia’s aggressive actions in the Black Sea and Kerch Strait and Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea," the statement says. Head of Rosneft Igor Sechin, head of VTB Andrey Kostin, entrepreneur Igor Rotenberg, Plenipotentiary Presidential Representative in the Southern Federal District Vladimir Ustinov and head of Russia’s National Guard (Rosgvardiya) Viktor Zolotov have been placed on the list, along with several entities of the Russian military-industrial complex, such as Tupolev, MiG and Sukhoi. Canada first introduced sanctions against Russian individuals and entities in 2014, after Crimea began to form part of Russia.
Kerch Strait incidentOn November 25, 2018, three Ukrainian warships, en route from Odessa to Mariupol, illegally crossed Russia’s state border, entered Russia’s territorial waters in the Kerch Strait and started performing dangerous maneuvers. Despite the repeated warnings and demands to stop, the Ukrainian vessels continued their way, forcing Russia to use weapons. All three Ukrainian ships were detained in the Black Sea. Three Ukrainian servicemen were slightly wounded and received medical assistance. A criminal case has been launched over the violation of Russia’s state border. Moscow slammed the incident as a provocation. Twenty-four Ukrainian sailors have been detained and are currently at detention facilities in Moscow.
KIEV, February 23 -- As the result of the Russian attack, one Ukrainian serviceman was wounded in Donbas conflict zone. The Joint Forces Operation (JFO) HQ reported this on Facebook.
The Russian militants violated the ceasefire regime 14 times, including eight times with Minsk-banned weaponry. The enemy fired 77 shells of 120 mm and 82 mm calibers over 24 hours. Besides the enemy fired the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with wire-guided anti-tank missile system, the grenade launchers of various system, the heavy machine guns, and small arms. Our fighters had been deliberately targeted by a sniper.
In the East operational group action zone, the enemy fired eight times:
In the North group area, the enemy attacked our positions 6 times:
Ukrainian Armed Forces stopped the attack by opening fire as well. According to surveillance, eight Russian militants were killed and two more were wounded on February, 22. Also, two units of the Russian military vehicle technology were destroyed. Since midnight on February, 23, the enemy has not opened fire.
KIEV, February 8 -- Ukraine’s incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko has announced that he is throwing his hat into the ring for the next presidential election, scheduled to be held on March 31.
"I have decided to run in the election once again," he said, addressing a forum dubbed "From Kruty to Brussels. We Follow Our Own Path," taking place at the International Exhibition Center in the country’s capital of Kiev. "I would like to ask voters for a mandate to ensure the irreversibility of the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration, and our independence, as well as to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity, bring back peace, complete the construction of a strong state capable of providing prosperity to every Ukrainian," Poroshenko said.
The sitting president is going to take part in the election as a self-nominated candidate. Experts say he decided against being nominated by the Pyotr Poroshenko Bloc because of the party’s low approval rating and a number of scandals involving people from his immediate circle. Prior to Poroshenko's bid, 41 people announced plans to run the Ukrainian presidential election, 22 of whom have already been registered by the country’s Central Election Commission.
LUGANSK, February 2 -- Ukrainian forces have shelled the territory of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) three times over the last 24 hours, LPR people's militia reports.
"The settlements of Zolotoye-5, Logvinovo and Sokolniki came under fore," LuganskInformCenter quoted LPR people's militia as saying. Ukrainian forces used mortars, grenade launchers, weapons on infantry fighting vehicles and small arms. The latest agreement on ceasefire entered into force on 29 December 2018, ahead of New Year and Christmas holidays in Donbass. The ceasefire agreement was reached by participants in the Contact Group on settlement of the situation in Donbass.
KIEV, January 29 -- Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday launched his bid for a second five-year term.
He made the statement at a forum in Kiev, ahead of a tight election race in March. The 53-year-old confectionary magnate and one of Ukraine’s richest men came to power in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan protests. Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna Party, is currently holding the lead in the polls with more than 20 percent of voters saying they would cast their ballots for her, as showed a recent survey, cited by the Director of the Institute for Analysis and Forecasting, Yury Lesnichy.
MOSCOW, December 29 -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced ban on imports of a number of goods from Ukraine into the country.
"Russia introduces ban on imports of a number of Ukrainian goods. This is a retaliatory measure against Ukrainian restrictions. I signed the corresponding decree," Medvedev wrote on Twitter. According to the government press service, the signed decree introduces a ban on imports of goods from Ukraine or transported through Ukraine into Russia, according to the approved list. "The majority of the goods that fall under the imposed ban belongs to the industrial category. The list also includes agricultural products, raw materials and food," the government explained.
The government noted that Russia might decide to cancel the introduction of special economic measures, if Ukraine abolishes the restrictive measures introduced earlier in relation to specific Russian goods.
On December 18, the Ukrainian government extended embargo on food imports from Russia until 2020. The blacklist of Russian goods has 30 categories, including bread and bakery, chocolates, meat, fish, coffee, black tea, baby food, filtered cigarettes, beer, vodka and other products. Russia suspended the free trade zone agreement with Ukraine starting from January 1, 2016, after the economic section of Ukraine’s association agreement with the European Union came into force. Besides, Russia’s embargo on European goods, which has been in place since August 2014, was expanded to include Ukraine in early 2016. It prohibits imports of meat, sausages, fish and shellfish, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Ukraine. Kiev responded with a ban on imports of Russian goods, which came into force on January 10, 2016.