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Who can make Ukraine great again?

The upcoming Ukrainian presidential elections are an opportunity to continue the reform process that has, so far, produced effective results and to instil a political will to deliver other fundamental changes. But this opportunity is likely to be missed, as many candidates offer band-aid solutions with no clear strategic vision.

Much like champagne and fireworks, the presidential address delivered before the countdown to midnight is a traditional ingredient of New Year celebrations in Ukraine. As 2018 was ending, 1+1 – a top TV channel owned by oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky – broke that sequence. It aired Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian and entertainment producer, announcing his long-speculated bid for the presidency. “There is a third way: to try and change something in the country and I have chosen it for myself,” he said in a soothing voice familiar to his comedy show, jewellery ads and TV show The Servant of the People, a series where he plays an honest schoolteacher who accidentally becomes president and sends corrupt officials to jail amidst dramatic soundtracks and standing ovations from vyshyvanka-clad extras.
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March 5, 2019 - Anna Korbut - Issue 2 2019MagazineUkraine elections 2019

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hopes to capitalize on his firm stance on Russia and Ukraine’s geopolitical choice. Photo: Ukraine Ministry of Defence (CC) www.flickr.com

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