Ukraine’s New President – level 3

29-04-2019 15:00

Political newcomer Volodymyr Zelenskiy won in the Ukrainian presidential elections, garnering 73 per cent of the final vote to Petro Poroshenko’s 24 per cent.

Before Zelenskiy entered politics, he was an actor best known for playing the country’s fictional president on a popular TV series. His TV character won the office accidentally after he went on an extremely popular anti-corruption rant.

Zelenskiy leveraged his popularity from the show, and he ran a real-life political campaign focused on fighting corruption. Poroshenko’s campaign, on the other hand, was strongly anti-Russian and nationalistic. The new president is not pro-Russian, but Poroshenko argued that he has no experience, so it will be easy for Russia to manipulate him.

Russia said that there may be an improvement of relations between Ukraine and Russia, although Putin’s office says that it is still too early to talk about cooperation. Regardless, Ukraine’s parliament is dominated by Poroshenko’s supporters, and elections are not scheduled to happen until October, so Zelenskiy probably cannot do much right away.

Difficult words: garner (collect, get), rant (speaking emotionally and critically about something), leverage (use to a maximum).

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