A TV Comedian Could Dominate Ukraine’s Election – The New York Times

“I am voting for Poroshenko because he has already demonstrated his ability to do things, not just words,” said Nataliia Pavlik, 72, after she voted in Kiev on Sunday. She also named the ability to travel to Europe visa-free, church autonomy and the army as important considerations.

“He raised it from the ashes. I want him to anchor all of this for the next five years,” she added.

Ms. Tymoshenko, 58, has adopted populist positions like plans to cut gas prices in half and to raise wages without being specific about how to pay for them. Subsidized gas prices were raised at the insistence of the International Monetary Fund, whose support is critical to Ukraine’s recovery.

She also sells herself as being able to bargain with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia because she had dealt with him as prime minister. But she earned her own fortune through gas deals with Russia, a common source of wealth for the Ukrainian elite, earning the nickname “the gas princess.”

Ms. Tymoshenko was also prosecuted and imprisoned by the Russian-aligned former government. Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s onetime campaign manager who has been sentenced to prison in the United States over undeclared income from Ukraine, among other things, had orchestrated a long, expensive, smear campaign against her.

Anatoly S. Hrytsenko, a former defense minister, is fourth in the polls and a possible dark-horse candidate given his military background.


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