JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Dirtiest’ Race Ever Drags Ukraine Election Into Perilous Waters” – Bloomberg/ Kateryna Choursina, Yulia Surkova

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Petro Poroshenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov“… the first of two spots in an almost certain runoff next month looks wrapped up[;] a battle for the other is raging between incumbent Petro Poroshenko and ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Accusations are flying — everything from voter payoffs to wiretaps and shady donors. There’s even a decoy candidate …. Dirty tricks aren’t unique to Ukraine. They’re a common occurrence in ex-communist Europe and continue to fuel heated discussions over issues like Brexit. But Ukraine’s history of revolutions — it’s already had two this century — makes it different. … Viktor Yanukovych[‘s]
… fraudulent election victory in 2004 was overturned by mass protesters. Having prevailed six years later, another popular uprising sent him fleeing to Russia in 2014. * * * TV comedian and political novice Volodymyr Zelenskiy [who] leads polls … himself faces accusations he’s a stooge of billionaire Ihor Kolomoiskyi, whose TV channel airs the comedian’s shows. He denies the two are working together on his run for president. …”

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[featured images are file photos from other occasions]