JRL NEWSWATCH: “Comic Who Vowed to Unite Ukraine Wins Votes in East and West” – AP

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… With nearly all ballots counted, Zelenskiy had 73% … compared … Poroshenko’s 24%. [OSCE m]onitors … said the election … respect[ed] … ‘fundamental freedoms’ and set the stage for a ‘democratic and orderly transfer of power.’ The first-time candidate, who stars in a TV sitcom about a high school teacher who becomes president almost by accident, appeared to have won in both the west and the east, a rarity …. Zelenskiy campaigned on unifying Ukraine … torn by bitter debates over national identity and a bloody conflict with Russia-backed separatists. … Moscow ‘respects the choice of the Ukrainian people’ and will wait for concrete steps by the new Ukrainian leader before making judgments, [Kremlin spokesman] Peskov said. Other Russian officials sounded cautiously optimistic … but also made remarks that could be interpreted as condescending. …”

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Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion