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ukraine presidential election

Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has scored a landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election.

With nearly all ballots counted in the run-off vote, Volodymyr Zelensky, 41, had taken more than 73% with incumbent Petro Poroshenko trailing far behind on 24%.

He told celebrating supporters: “I will never let you down.”

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev commented in a Facebook post that Russia wants Volodymyr Zelensky to show “sound judgement”, “honesty” and “pragmatism” so that relations can improve. Russia backs separatists in eastern Ukraine.

He said he expected Volodymyr Zelensky to “repeat familiar ideological formulas” that he used in the election campaign, adding: “I have no illusions on that score.

“At the same time, there is a chance to improve relations with our country.”

Petro Poroshenko, who admitted defeat after the first exit polls were published, has said he will not be leaving politics.

He told voters that Volodymyr Zelensky was too inexperienced to stand up to Russia effectively.

Ukraine Elections 2019: Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy Is Front-Runner Ahead of First Round

Volodymyr Zelensky, a political novice, is best known for starring in a satirical TV series Servant of the People, in which his character accidentally becomes Ukrainian president.

The comedian told reporters he would “reboot” peace talks with the separatists fighting Ukrainian forces and volunteers in the east.

He said: “I think that we will have personnel changes. In any case we will continue in the direction of the Minsk [peace] talks and head towards concluding a ceasefire.”

There are sporadic skirmishes and the situation also remains tense around Crimea, annexed from Ukraine by Russia in 2014.

Former Ukraine’s PM Yulia Tymoshenko has announced she is planning to run for presidency in May elections.

Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison in February following the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych, after three years in jail.

She has already served twice as prime minister and ran for president in 2010.

Yulia Tymoshenko was a major figure in the 2004 “Orange Revolution” that toppled Viktor Yanukovych’s first administration.

She said she would stand as “a candidate for Ukrainian unity”.

Yulia Tymoshenko told reporters that she had earned the right to be considered a candidate who was against corruption.

Yulia Tymoshenko has announced she is planning to run for presidency in May elections

Yulia Tymoshenko has announced she is planning to run for presidency in May elections

She narrowly lost the 2010 presidential election to pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych.

Yulia Tymoshenko was imprisoned in 2011 for corruption linked to a gas deal she brokered with Russia as prime minister in 2009.

Her supporters say the case was politically motivated and instigated by her rival Viktor Yanukovych.

On Monday Yulia Tymoshenko denied the authenticity of a taped conversation in which she allegedly called for Russia to be turned into “scorched earth” and for ethnic Russians in Ukraine to be killed.

Yulia Tymoshenko said the recording, which featured prominently on Russian news reports, was produced by Russia’s security services.

Former boxer Vitaliy Klitschko and chocolate tycoon Petro Poroshenko are also expected to take part in the presidential election.

Opinion polls suggest Petro Poroshenko, who is one of Ukraine’s richest men, is currently the most popular candidate.

Ukraine’s presidential election is expected to take place on May 25.