Comedian faces scrutiny over oligarch ties in Ukraine presidential race
02 Apr 2019

Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy is leading the race to become Ukraine’s next president thanks to an insurgent campaign that rails against corrupt politicians influenced by rich oligarchs.

Yet it is his own relationship with one of the country’s wealthiest tycoons that could prove an Achilles’ heel.

One of Ukraine’s most popular TV channels 1+1, owned by oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, has given Zelenskiy a powerful platform in recent months during his meteoric rise to the brink of the presidency.

On Saturday, a day before Zelenskiy won the first round of the presidential contest and set up a run-off with the incumbent Petro Poroshenko, 1+1 filled its schedule with back-to-back shows by the comedian and actor.

The fact that Zelenskiy is a major star on the channel has stoked worries among some investors and voters, and accusations from his political opponents, that he is in the pocket of Kolomoisky.

By Matthias Williams and Natalia Zinets, Reuters, 1 April 2019

Read more at Reuters

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