Ukrainians will head to the polls this Sunday to vote in early parliamentary elections, the next step in a political transition that began with the election of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in April. Surveys indicate that Zelenskiy’s political party, Servant of the People, is leading by a wide margin, with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology measuring his support at 48.5%. The pro-Kremlin opposition platform For Life, led by oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is polling second with 14.1%. European Solidarity, the newly created political party of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, is currently running third with 9.2%, followed by Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland Party in fourth place with 6.2%. Ukrainian rock star Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s upstart party Holos (Vote) is polling at 4.4%. Parties must pass a 5 percent ballot threshold to seat candidates. The term for the new legislature is five years.
The election campaign has been marked by the appearance of so-called “clone candidates,” persons whose names closely resemble the names of other contenders and, experts believe, have gained a place on the ballot to confuse people and cost other candidates crucial votes. Following the Zelenskiy model, many celebrities have decided to run, including musicians, actors, athletes, and TV hosts.
RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service and Current Time TV have provided tireless, live, and on the spot coverage for audiences in Ukraine and throughout the region, with the Ukrainian Service’s Schemes investigative unit airing several investigations into election-related corruption allegations. Kyiv-based correspondent Christopher Miller has also been following the candidates, the campaign, and related topics.
As the vote approaches, RFE/RL continues to demand the immediate release of two of its contributors, Stanislav Aseyev and Oleh Halaziuk, who have been held captive in the so-called Donetsk People's Republic since 2017.
Bookmark RFE/RL’s Ukraine Live Blog for the latest developments.
Contact RFE/RL journalists for election-related updates and insight:
- Christopher Miller, Senior Correspondent (in Kyiv; English, Russian)
firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @ChristopherJM, @RFERL
- Andriy Dikhtiarenko,Editor of RFE/RL’s Donbas.Realii website and the rubric “Letters from the Occupied Donbass,” and Chief Editor of Real Gazeta from Luhansk (in Kyiv; Ukrainian, English, Russian)
email@example.com; Twitter: @adja_ @radiosvoboda
- Maryana Drach, RFE/RL Ukrainian Service Director (in Kyiv; Ukrainian, English, Russian)
DrachM@rferl.org; Twitter: @MaryanaDrach1, @radiosvoboda
To schedule an interview with any of RFE/RL's experts, contact Yevgeniy Sydorov in Washington (firstname.lastname@example.org; +1.202.457.6952), or Joanna Levison in Prague (email@example.com; +420.221.122.080).
Follow the latest developments on RFERL.org.