Ucrania (Continuación)

Ni el más optimista de los guionistas hubiera imaginado para Volodímir Zelenski un guion tan afortunado. Después de haber interpretado el papel de un profesor que, por sorpresa, es elegido jefe del Estado en la serie de televisión Sluga Narodur (El siervo del pueblo), emitida asimismo por Netflix, el pasado abril el excómico fue coronado presidente de Ucrania también en la realidad. Esperando capitalizar su popularidad, este actor de 41 años disolvió un Parlamento fiel a su predecesor, Petró Poroshenko, y convocó elecciones anticipadas. Y ganó también esa apuesta.

Decepcionados por una clase dirigente juzgada corrupta e ineficaz, cansados de la prolongada crisis económica y agotados por el conflicto separatista del Este filorruso que en cinco años se ha cobrado 13.000…  Seguir leyendo »

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine speaking to the media on Sunday.CreditCreditZoya Shu/Associated Press

Voters across the country took another leap of faith on Sunday, handing yet more power to their new and untested leader. In April, the former comedian Volodymyr Zelensky went from playing an accidental president on television to unexpectedly becoming the country’s real-life president. In this weekend’s parliamentary elections, he led his party to another stunning victory.

In late May, hoping to capitalize on his popularity, Mr. Zelensky dissolved Parliament, which was still largely dominated by the camp of the previous president, Petro O. Poroshenko, and called for early elections. On Sunday, voters gave him the mandate he was asking for.

With more than 96 percent of ballots counted as of Tuesday afternoon, Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

A person with passports of the Luhansk People's Republic and Ukraine enters a centre for issuing Russian passports in Luhansk. Photo: Alexander Reka\TASS via Getty Images.

The election of Volodymyr Zelenskyi as president of Ukraine has spurred hopes that an end to the war in the east of the country – pitting the Russian-backed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (DNR) and the ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ (LNR) against the authorities in Kyiv – is possible. A Russian-speaker from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kriviy Rih and an outsider untainted with the failures of his predecessors, Zelenskyi has, according to some, a chance to reset the bilateral relationship.

Such optimism is unfounded. The principal driver of the crisis – the refusal of Russia’s leaders to accept the sovereignty of Ukraine – is unchanged.…  Seguir leyendo »

Five years into a war in its east, Ukraine has elected an unlikely new president: professional comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy. To date, Zelenskyy has hinted at both dialogue with and new punitive measures against Ukraine’s formidable neighbour to the east, but offered little in the way of specific plans for either course of action. Some Ukrainians fear that Moscow might take advantage of this seeming hesitancy to cement its influence in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (D/LPR) – the breakaway statelets in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists since 2014. In April, after Zelenskyy’s election, but before his inauguration, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree making it easier for D/LPR residents to obtain Russian citizenship.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pro-Russian separatists patrol the street in front of Russian humanitarian trucks in Makiivka (Makeyevka) in Donetsk region, 12 December 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

After five years of war, a humanitarian crisis drags on in the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (L/DPR), the parts of eastern Ukraine nominally governed by Russian-backed separatists. More than 3.5 million people in eastern Ukraine are in need of aid, according to UN figures. The need is particularly dire in the rebel-held territories, which confront a Ukrainian economic blockade as well as isolation imposed by the rebels themselves. The aging segment of the L/DPR’s population is hardest-hit of all, struggling to get by on pensions as low as $30 per month. But humanitarian groups face several obstacles in getting these people the aid they need.…  Seguir leyendo »

A record 73% of voters cast ballots for a complete political novice in Volodymyr Zelenskyi for president of Ukraine. He rallied voters against the old system and harnessed anti-elitist sentiment and disillusionment from the unfulfilled promises of the protests of 2014.

Over 60% of the total Ukrainian population voted because they believed their choice could have real impact; 30 per cent of Zelenskyi’s supporters were youth under 30. Despite Russian claims that the southeast of Ukraine was disenfranchised and had no choice, the turnout in the Kyiv-controlled Donetsk oblast increased almost by 40% compared to the 2014 election. Similarly, many more Ukrainians voted in Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts.…  Seguir leyendo »

En los inicios del siglo XXI, El ala oeste era la serie de televisión favorita de muchos. Trataba de una administración estadounidense de ficción que luchaba contra el terrorismo sin librar guerras sobre una región o religión enteras, se negaba a pisotear el estado de derecho y, por lo general, tomaba decisiones que iban dirigidas al mejor interés de la nación. Muchos deseaban que Martin Sheen, el calmado y tranquilo presidente en la serie, reemplazara al presidente cowboy George W. Bush y a su belicoso compinche Dick Cheney.

En cierto sentido, eso es exactamente lo que ocurre hoy en Ucrania. El comediante Volodimir Zelensky, cuyo único mérito para la fama hasta ahora ha sido personificar a un profesor devenido en presidente en la popular serie televisiva Servidor del pueblo, ganó la presidencia por una abrumadora mayoría en abril.…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gather April 22 at the Ukrainian presidential administration in Kiev to thank Poroshenko for what he did as president. (Tatayana Zenkovich/EPA-EFE) (Tatyana Zenkovich/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

On April 21, Volodymyr Zelensky, a Ukrainian actor, comedian and performer, decisively defeated incumbent President Petro Poroshenko in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election. Zelensky led Kvartal-95, a popular comedy troupe, and played fictional president Vasyl Holoborodko on the wildly popular Ukrainian TV show “Servant of the People.”

Zelensky’s unorthodox path to the presidency has made headlines around the world — but there’s another story here. The pattern of support for Zelensky is distinctly different from the East-West divide that has characterized Ukrainian politics over the past 20 years.

What elections were like in Ukraine before 2014

Analysts often depict Ukraine’s politics as a constant struggle between a pro-European West and pro-Russian East.…  Seguir leyendo »

In Ukraine, a TV satire has become political reality. A comedian named Volodymyr Zelensky will become the next president, after decisively defeating incumbent Petro Poroshenko with 73 percent of the vote in the second round runoff on April 21.

Zelensky starred in “Servant of the People,” a Ukrainian sitcom about a young history professor who goes on a viral rant against corruption in politics and ends up winning the presidency.

This is a strange reality, indeed. But what does it mean?

There are many possible interpretations. Zelensky was the younger, more attractive politician in this contest. As a comedian, he appealed to voters tired of oligarchic rule in Ukraine and those who hoped to see a new generation in charge.…  Seguir leyendo »

It’s a moment of truth for Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky has won a landslide victory in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, vanquishing the incumbent, Petro Poroshenko. Most Ukrainians know Zelensky as a fictional TV character on the hit show “Servant of the People,” where he plays an ordinary citizen fed up with Ukraine’s pay-to-play political system. On the show, Zelensky’s character miraculously gets elected president after one of his rants against corrupt politicians goes viral. Now fiction has become fact as Zelensky prepares for a real-life inauguration later this spring.

Having run a campaign light on policy specifics, Zelensky is now about to show Ukrainians what kind of leader he will really be.…  Seguir leyendo »

The voters of Ukraine cast their votes on Sunday for a “servant of the people” to become their new president. It certainly wasn’t a rejection of the Maidan revolution, but rather a desperate urge for it to fulfill all its promises.

Five years ago, Ukraine was on the verge of military, political and financial collapse amid the combined consequences of the massive incompetence of the departed Yanukovych regime and the aggressive efforts of the Kremlin to dismember the country. But it survived thanks to the 2014 election of Petro Poroshenko, who mobilized the nation and had the determined support of the European Union and the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hace cinco años este mes, una escuadrilla de “hombrecitos verdes” (soldados sin ninguna insignia nacional) tomó el control de una estación de policía en Sloviansk, una pequeña ciudad del óblast de Donetsk en el este de Ucrania. Así empezó la segunda etapa de la campaña de Rusia para desmembrar a Ucrania, después de su ilegal anexión de Crimea en marzo de aquel año. Como dejaron en claro las declaraciones mismas del Kremlin en aquel tiempo, el objetivo de Rusia era establecer un miniestado semiindependiente (“Novorossiya” o “Nueva Rusia”) en el sur de Ucrania y reducir el resto del país a una suerte de Gran Galitzia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters from National Corps and other right-wing groups gathered to demand the arrest of presidential associates implicated in a defense sector corruption scandal, on 23 March 2019. CRISISGROUP/Katharine Quinn-Judge

On 31 March, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko suffered a double-digit defeat in the presidential election’s first round to comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, whose only previous political experience is playing the president on television. The incumbent is widely expected to lose a second and final time in Sunday’s runoff vote. Zelensky’s campaign has hinged on shying away from policy specifics, while appealing to voters who are wary of Poroshenko’s increasingly familiar rhetoric about containing Russian aggression and promises of Westernisation. The comedian blames Moscow for the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, but says both sides should “just stop shooting”. He says he favours integration with the West, but questions whether European states will ever treat Ukraine as a peer.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukrainian special forces soldiers stand guard in front of the Central Electoral Commission in Kyiv on 1 April. Photo: Getty Images.

The president of Ukraine has primary responsibility for managing national security and foreign relations. But ahead of the first round of the presidential election on 31 March, candidates mainly exchanged views on issues that are the responsibility of the government not the president: anti-corruption measures, gas prices and social benefits.

The focus on domestic issues reflects the fact that there is broad consensus in society on Ukraine’s foreign policy orientation. To this extent, President Petro Poroshenko is a victim of his success. After 2014, he was instrumental in building international support for Ukraine.

This led to the IMF’s stabilization package and the rapid implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU.…  Seguir leyendo »

Comment un homme sans quasiment de programme peut-il devenir président ? C’est la question que posent les résultats du premier tour de l’élection présidentielle en Ukraine, qui a porté en tête, dimanche 31 mars, un humoriste, Volodymyr Zelensky, avec 30,2 % des voix.

Ce n’est pas la première fois qu’un comédien se lance dans une telle aventure. On se souvient de Coluche en 1980, qui fit trembler le monde politique français avec ses 16 % d’intentions de vote et, plus près de nous, de Beppe Grillo, dont l’ascension rapide en Italie a mené son parti, le Mouvement 5 étoiles, au pouvoir.…  Seguir leyendo »

Results in Ukraine’s first round of presidential balloting yielded no surprise with TV actor and comedian Viktor Zelenskiy placing first with 30 percent of the vote. Instead, the surprise was his margin over the sitting president, Petro Poroshenko, who received about 16 percent. Ukraine’s constitution requires a winner receive more than 50 percent of all ballots cast, so these two candidates will be the only contenders in a final vote on April 21. Mr. Zelenskiy is favored to win election to the five-year term.

At 41, Mr. Zelenskiy is 12 years younger than Mr. Poroshenko and has no political experience. What he does have is what every politician wants: extensive name recognition.…  Seguir leyendo »

Los ucranianos están hartos de promesas de regeneración no cumplidas y de un nivel de vida bajo. El voto de castigo en las elecciones presidenciales ha sido claro y seguramente merecido. Lo inquietante, como ha resumido el periodista Vitaliy Portnikov, es que la gente parece abrigar la esperanza de que el ganador en esta primera vuelta, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, posee una varita mágica para resolver todos los problemas.

Las reformas que se han producido no avanzan al ritmo que el país necesita y la corrupción salpica a todos los responsables políticos, incluidos el presidente Poroshenko y su entorno. De ahí que estas reformas y los mecanismos para llevarlas a cabo –tribunales independientes y economía competitiva- hayan nutrido el núcleo de las promesas electorales.…  Seguir leyendo »

Days before the hotly contested Ukrainian presidential election on March 31, incumbent Petro Poroshenko’s party faces credible allegations of voter bribery. It’s not hard to guess what will happen next. The oligarchic clique will steal the election, and in response, international observers will accuse local authorities of vote-rigging. But instead of addressing the symptoms of democratic backsliding, it’s time to treat the root cause: informal power.

Moldova offers a textbook example. Oil and banking tycoon Vladimir Plahotniuc bankrolls the country’s second-largest political force and has forged alliances with other parties to consolidate power. Although Plahotniuc exerts total control over parliament, law enforcement and the courts, he has no interest in running for office.…  Seguir leyendo »

On March 31, Ukrainians will head to the polls to choose a new president. It is difficult to believe that five years have passed since Ukrainians swarmed the streets to oust corrupt, cruel and Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych. In the interim, the country has endured an invasion from Russia that has left 13,000 dead and ripped Crimea from it, all while embarking on an ambitious series of reforms under President Petro Poroshenko to finally shake off its post-Soviet hangover.

This election, only the second since the Maidan protests, thus represents a crucial juncture for the country. Early indications are that Ukraine will likely continue to orient itself toward the West, but there is some worry about continued economic reform.…  Seguir leyendo »

Si la vida imita al arte, Nikolai Gogol, que tenía buena sintonía con los que desvarían y los locos, podría haber escrito el guion de los acontecimientos políticos clave de los últimos años. Piénsese en una historia que comience con una mujer anunciando su candidatura presidencial y que se convierte rápidamente en la favorita para ganar, a pesar de sus defectos. Pero entonces sale de la nada otro candidato: una estrella televisiva sin ninguna cualificación para ejercer un cargo público.

En resumidas cuentas, este intruso bufonesco ataca a la yugular, lanzando una mentira tras otra a su oponente al tiempo que esparce absurdas promesas sobre asuntos de seguridad y bienestar social.…  Seguir leyendo »